A brief critique
Even as a work of fiction, The Water Horse gets several things terribly wrong:
But the movie does get a few things right:
The Water Horse has some nice scenery and CGI effects. (Given how overcast Loch Ness usually is, I presume the scenery is also a CGI effect.) But it's mediocre compared to such classics as Lassie, Babe, or The Black Stallion. Rob's rating: a generous 7.0 of 10.
Why it's relevant
I bring up the movie here because of an interesting coincidence. In Nessie lore, the Glasgow Evening News in 1896 claimed there were centuries of sightings. Some of the sightings were allegedly mentioned in Daniel Defoe's three-volume A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-1726).
I haven't seen that book, but Ronald Binns, author of The Loch Ness Mystery Solved, has. Binns says Defoe traveled the length of Loch Ness but didn't report any sightings or rumors of sightings. The Glasgow Evening News was wrong.
But while searching for a name for his creature, the boy in The Water Horse spots a copy of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe in his shed. He decides to name the creature Crusoe--I guess because it's lost and alone like the title character.
So Defoe was a seeker of knowledge about Great Britain. He also wrote about Crusoe's adventures with Indians and other non-Western people. Defoe wasn't a source for the Loch Ness legend, but was a source for the savage Indian stereotype.
As a child, I loved Robinson Crusoe and the Loch Ness Monster...as well as ancient civilizations, UFOs, and other mysteries. Now I'm following in Defoe's footsteps, sort of. Seeking knowledge...writing about Indians and other non-Western people...and dispelling Defoe's Native stereotypes. That's a whole conflux of coincidences.
P.S. I used to think the evidence was pretty good that there was something to the Loch Ness mystery. But Binn makes a persuasive case to the contrary, alas. Most of the sightings and photographs are mistakes or phonies, he believes.