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"THE WATER HORSE: LEGEND OF THE DEEP"
(2007) (Angus Etel, Ben Chaplin) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Mild Moderate Moderate Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Minor None Moderate None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor Mild Moderate Moderate Moderate


QUICK TAKE:
Fantasy/Adventure: A young boy discovers a water horse in a tide pool near his home and watches as the mythical creature grows from a few inches to several hundred feet long, all while sorting out his feelings regarding various father figures in his life.
PLOT:
In present day Scotland, a local man (BRIAN COX) tells the following story to a couple of young American tourists. In 1942, during World War II, a young boy named Angus MacMorrow (ANGUS ETEL) misses his sailor father desperately. Afraid of the water, Angus discovers a barnacle-encrusted, soon glowing blue egg near the shore, and hides it in his father's workshop, where he keeps a calendar to keep track of his father's days at sea. The egg hatches, producing a strange creature with flippers, a long neck, and a prodigious appetite.

Angus names the creature Crusoe, after his favorite adventure story. Though Crusoe is at first small enough to keep hidden from his mother Anne (EMILY WATSON) and older sister Kristie (PRIYANKA XI), almost as soon as it begins to eat the garbage can full of kitchen scraps Angus finds for it, Crusoe begins to grow.

At around the same time, the estate where Anne is head housekeeper (her absent husband was the groundskeeper) is commandeered by Captain Hamilton (DAVID MORRISSEY) of the Royal British Navy, who instructs his men to establish the loch as a last bastion against a possible Nazi invasion. As they are building up armaments along the shore, Anne hires Lewis Mowbray (BEN CHAPLIN), a former sailor who serves as the new groundskeeper.

When Anne begins to accept attentions (and a dinner invitation) from Captain Hamilton, Lewis becomes jealous. But because he's very shy, he doesn't act on his obvious feelings for Anne, but instead focuses his energies on helping Angus work though his longing for his father.

Angus finally has to reveal his pet to Lewis, who recognizes it as the legendary water horse, destined to live in the loch near Angus' home. Once they free Crusoe, Angus sneaks away to visit it in the loch. Crusoe then takes him for a ride underwater and across the loch, so the boy is no longer afraid of water.

Eventually, however, Captain Hamilton's men spot the creature in the loch and believe it to be a secret Nazi weapon. From that point on, Angus tries to lead Crusoe away to safety.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Yes, especially if they have an interest in imaginary pets/fantastic creatures, liked "The Chronicles of Narnia," "The Golden Compass," or "Eragon," or are interested in the story of the Loch Ness Monster.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For some action/peril, mild language and brief smoking.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • BEN CHAPLIN plays Lewis Mowbray, a former sailor and current handyman, as well as a very brave and honest soul.
  • ANGUS ETEL is Angus MacMorrow, a young boy who misses his father, a sailor during WWII, and discovers the water horse, named Crusoe.
  • EMILY WATSON plays Anne, Angus' mostly patient, hardworking mother, the head housekeeper at the estate (owned by an unseen Lord Killen) where the sailors encamp.
  • PRIYANKA XI plays Kristie MacMorrow, Angus' sister and partner in hiding Crusoe from their mother.
  • BRIAN COX plays Angus as an old man, who tells his story (via flashback) to a couple of rapt tourists.
  • DAVID MORRISSEY is Captain Hamilton, a Home Guard officer who uses the estate as a base camp for his men.
  • JOEL TOBECK plays Sgt. Walker, one of Hamilton's men whose stern face frightens Angus as soon as he sees him.
  • EDWARD NEWBORN plays Corporal Grubbs, who keeps guard over the kitchen with his bulldog, Churchill.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this PG-rated family-oriented fantasy adventure. Profanity consists of a handful of expletives, while a few colorful phrases are also uttered. Brief kissing is present.

    Violence includes the firing of weapons at the creature (and thus the boy as well by default), while some slapstick style material is also present. The attempts on the creature's life and other moments might be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers, while various bad attitudes are present.

    Tense family material is present (including the apparent death of the father figure at sea during the war). Smoking and drinking occur, and some bad attitudes are present, as is some crude humor.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • The film opens in and intermittently returns to a pub, where Old Angus regales a couple of wide-eyed American tourists with this tale of the water horse. There is no explicit drinking.
  • The cook drinks whiskey in the kitchen.
  • Lewis first appears in a pub, where ales are visible on the bar and at tables, and he orders a pint.
  • When Anne first meets Lewis, she tells him specifically, "There's no drinking in this house."
  • Anne has a formal dinner with Captain Hamilton and his officers, where wine is served and they toast "the lady of the house."
  • Grubb and the cook drink more whiskey in the kitchen.
  • An old fisherman drinks from a flask while he's out on the loch in a boat. He sees Crusoe and believes he's seen a monster, but no one believes him because he has a reputation as a drunk (his friend says, "I told you to stay off that drink in the morning!")
  • In the pub, drinks appear on the table as Old Angus tells his story.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • The egg that Angus discovers oozes a glowing blue fluid.
  • When Angus finds just-hatched Crusoe, the creature has a small cut, apparently caused by Angus' cutting at the egg. Angus dresses the cut (which bleeds slightly) with gauze.
  • The Navy men bring a dead deer to the estate to eat, cutting it up in front of Angus. We see blood and a bloody knife, from the boy's point of view (all of which frightens him).
  • Lewis hides the water horse in the toilet, and its stomach rumbles, inviting Anne's curiosity as to what's gone wrong with "the pipes."
  • The water horse burps loudly, producing a terrible smell to which Lewis reacts with a yucky face.
  • Lewis tracks down the missing Crusoe, thinking he'll find a "wee smelly beast." It emerges from a fountain, huge, and burps, causing Lewis to react with a yucky face again.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Angus lies to his mother by not telling her about Crusoe, afraid that she'll make him give up his pet.
  • Kristie and Lewis agree to keep the secret from Anne.
  • Corporal Grubbs and the cook sneak kisses and share whiskey in the kitchen.
  • Captain Hamilton discusses the Nazi submarines he's supposed to hold off, should they come to the loch. The Nazis are, of course, all-purpose villains and threats, though they never make an appearance in this film.
  • Angus runs away from the hard work the Captain is making him do, in order to find solace with Crusoe in the loch.
  • The Captain seeks information (secretly) on Lewis, hoping to ruin him in front of Anne.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling or suspenseful to younger viewers and/or those with low tolerance levels for such material.
  • Young Angus first appears as he sits on the shore and imagines falling into the water. There's scary music, dark shadows in the water, and some images that show him trashing about and seeming to drown.
  • As the egg hatches, alone in the workshop, shadows and tense music suggest the "unknown" creature emerging. It is not visible until some time later, when Angus enters the workshop and looks for it, a procedure that also involves mildly tense music and limited point-of-view camerawork as Angus looks around.
  • When Angus first encounters Crusoe as the giant water horse, he's lifted onto its back, and then it dives into the water. At first, Angus is frightened (due in part to a similar story Lewis earlier told him) and the water is dark, and then he is thrilled and we see from his perspective all sorts of watery beauties (plants, fish, and a sunken ship).
  • Crusoe looks wild and afraid when the shooting at him starts, with him rushing through the water and leaping about.
  • Angus is briefly knocked unconscious and nearly drowns while trying to reach Crusoe in the loch (during the stormy night shooting) and Crusoe, urged by Lewis, who has also shown up, saves him.
  • Angus rides Crusoe into the loch on the stormy night, while Sgt. Walker shoots at them.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Captain Hamilton holds a gun as he speaks with Lewis, warning him to "stay away" from Angus.
  • When Captain Hamilton shows off the huge gun on the hill they mean to aim at Nazi submarines, he calls it "our pride and joy," then roughly pushes Angus away when the boy tries to stop a demonstration (that causes loud noises and shots that hit near Crusoe in the loch). That huge gun and a handgun are used to shoot at Crusoe.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "What the devil?" "You and your bloody gun!" "The damn thing tried to eat me!" "Jeez" "Where the devil are you?" and "Wee smelly beast."
  • Angus hides the creature in the bath tub, yelling for his mother to stay out.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful and tense music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 damn, 1 hell and 1 use of "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The cook and Corporal Grubbs kiss in the kitchen, spotted by Kristie and Angus, who make "that's gross" faces.
  • Lewis' exposed back shows his scars, the effects of shrapnel.
  • SMOKING
  • The cook smokes several times and shares a cigarette with Grubbs; the Captain and his men roll cigarettes and smoke a couple of times; the Captain smokes a pipe; and background characters smoke cigarettes in the pub where Old Angus tells his story.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Kristie insists that Angus show her what he's hiding in the bathtub and when she sees it, she screams. He makes her "swear" she won't tell their mother and they hug.
  • Anne tells Lewis that her husband is not coming home (his ship sank) and that Angus is unable to accept this, because he's "a confused boy."
  • Father-son business includes Angus claiming Crusoe sees him as its father; Lewis serving as a father figure for Angus; and Angus arguing with Lewis that Crusoe should not be set free, but, "What's best for him is to be with me!"
  • Anne confronts Angus about his strange behavior, then tells him she doesn't believe him about Crusoe.
  • Captain Hamilton, imagining he's Angus' substitute father, tells Lewis to "stay away," because "I consider you a bad influence."
  • Captain Hamilton, again playing "father," has Angus working hard, with the boy washing his jeep, hammering a tent post in the cold rain, peeling potatoes for Grubb, etc. Angus eventually runs away to the loch to escape.
  • When Captain Hamilton shows off the huge gun on the hill they mean to aim at Nazi submarines, he calls it "our pride and joy," then roughly pushes Angus away when the boy tries to stop a demonstration (that causes loud noises and shots that hit near Crusoe in the loch), causing Anne to look at him and horror and gather up her son protectively.
  • Substitute dad Lewis apologizes to Angus when he hears substitute dad Captain Hamilton has been shooting into the loch, saying he didn't know they'd be shooting at Crusoe.
  • Angus' mom yells at Captain Hamilton, Sgt. Walker, Lewis, and Angus: "Has everyone gone mad!? There is no monster! There is no magic!" And then she sees Crusoe.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The loss of a parent during wartime.
  • The place of a pet in the home.
  • The value of telling the truth, and listening to stories that might sound untrue.
  • The Legend of the Loch Ness Monster.
  • Discussions of the war include topics such as Nazis as nefarious enemies, and Angus' father's death at sea.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Angus cuts through the egg, trying to open it, and discovers later that he has accidentally cut Crusoe.
  • Slapstick style material includes Churchill the bulldog chasing Crusoe around the house (over slippery floors, over the fancy dinner table, into a fountain), breaking furniture and knocking plates and glasses off the table.
  • When Captain Hamilton shows off the huge gun on the hill they mean to aim at Nazi submarines, he calls it "our pride and joy," then roughly pushes Angus away when the boy tries to stop a demonstration (that causes loud shots, some of which hit near Crusoe in the loch), causing Anne to look at him and horror and gather up her son protectively.
  • Churchill the bulldog chases after Crusoe by running alongside the loch, barking while Sgt. Walker shoots the big gun from the cliff.
  • Angus is briefly knocked unconscious and nearly drowns while trying to reach Crusoe in the loch (during the stormy night shooting) and Crusoe, urged by Lewis, who has also shown up, saves him.
  • Angus rides Crusoe into the loch on the stormy night, while Sgt. Walker shoots at them with a handgun.



  • Reviewed November 28, 2007 / Posted December 25, 2007

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