A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Secret of Loch Ness involves an 11-year-old boy who believes his father drowned discovering that his father might be alive, and he sets off on his own (using deceit) to track him down. There's some profanity (including "s--t" and "Christ"), violence that includes a man being shot twice with a gun (but surviving), peril throughout, and some mature themes involving unplanned pregnancy and dishonesty about a child's origin family. It's also quite obviously overdubbed and revoiced in English, which makes for awkward viewing.
What's the story?
In THE SECRET OF LOCH NESS, 11-year-old Tim (Lukas Schust) has always wondered about his father Eric (Hans Van Werner), who died in a drowning accident before he was born. But his mother, Anna (Lisa Martinek), isn't talking. When Tim sees a man who looks just like his dad on television, he's convinced his father is still alive. He sneaks away to Inverness to discover not only the identity of this mystery man but also that of another legend, Scotland's Loch Ness monster. Along the way he meets a curious figure guarding a treasure in an underwater cave and discovers he's not the only person searching for answers.
Is it any good?
This may look like a boyhood fantasy adventure about tracking the Loch Ness monster, but kids in the market for a closer look at this world-famous nonexistent plesiosaur will be disappointed. There are only a few blips of the monster on-screen (mostly shown in menacing water ripples), and the rest of the film gets lost in a separate plot with an eerily Gollum-like creature (the one from The Lord of the Rings) protecting ancient treasure. There are some heavy themes here with the boy's eventual discovery of the circumstances of his birth and his mother's scattered dishonesty (none of which is ever adequately addressed), and other assorted violence, which includes some gunshots and lots of abandoned loose ends.
The effects are subpar, and the overdubbed, revoiced English by separate actors adds an off-kilter, emotionless quality to the proceedings. It's too heavy for very young kids and doesn't deliver what it promises for anyone interested in cryptozoology.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Loch Ness monster. Do you think it's real? Why do so many people continue to believe in it?
How is honesty handled in the film? Was it right for Tim's mother to tell him his father drowned? What could she have told him to be more honest with him about his biological origins? How could Tim search for his father while still being honest with his mother?
The desire to find the treasure corrupted some of the people in the movie. Why do you think people are so easily corrupted by power or treasure? Have you ever felt greedy for something? How did it make you feel? Did you act differently?
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