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When terror emerges, interest submerges into the murky depths of despair upon viewing this C-minus-sea-monster-horror-heist directed by Tyler James. James is no stranger to the lure of the ocean having directed Deadly Waters (2015), a movie whose featured siren Becca Hirani plays one of the crew here damned to find and capture Nessy after a previous research team disappears.

The previous crew was comprised of this girl and one other guy piloting the K19 Widowmaker by themselves, so it was a doomed voyage from the beginning.

The rest of the crew, all experienced seamen, (or marketing reps?) make up the dream team that’s using what appears to be six different vessels to track down Ol’ Nessy.

(For a much more accurate list of ships used as backdrops, check out Jennie Kermode’s in-depth review of The Loch Ness Horror.)

So, a corporation puts together a crew to get Nessy out of the Loch. And you know what they say, you can take the Loch out of Ness, but you can’t take the Ness out of the Loch unless that Ness finds a way to unlock that Loch and take to the sea.

No one really says that, but I’m also not really sure why they needed so much firepower against the Loch Ness monster. I mean, for a short period of time, experts in the field of “Lochnessology” thought Nessy was just a giant dork, a.k.a. an actual whale’s penis. Apparently, several sightings of whale erections may have inspired tales of other famous sea monsters (If that’s true, sailors of the past yelling “there she blows” takes on a new, and much more disgusting, meaning).

Speaking of dorks, here’s a still of Nessy from The Loch Ness Horror 2023. I imagine she laughs like Goofy, “ah-yuck, ah-yuck, ah-yuck!”

Now, before the crew embarks on their quest for Ness, we are introduced to Becca Hirani’s character Lara who has a budding romantic relationship with another crewman on the ship named Bryce, played by Dan Gittens (whose other IMDB credit is Rip and Run, which, at face value, looks worlds better than The Loch Ness Horror). Why am I mentioning this? Because the movie sets up these characters as the leads, and while they are featured characters, they seem to take a back seat to Lindsay Lohan look-alike Ava, played by May Kelly (Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey).

By the way, there exist no other production photos or clips where May Kelly looks anything like Miss Lohan, so I have no idea what the hell’s going on with this flick.

Anyway, when Ava appears on screen, the Bryce and Lara characters take a back seat.

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MILD SPOILERS AHEAD: Then the crew is taken hostage, at least for a short period of time, by some tough guys and a man named Travis, played by Matthew Brunsgard. I would have rather seen the spot filled by Harland Williams’ character in Down Periscope, who could have attempted to communicate with Nessy.

Here’s Matthew Baunsgard holding May Kelly’s character Ava at gunpoint with a gun that a cyberpunk crook would be sporting in Robocop’s old Detroit. You cannot tell me you didn’t think that was Lindsay Lohan at first glance!

Ava experiences the majority of the horror unfolding on the ship. She’s held hostage, chased by gunmen, witnesses Nessy chew up and spit out a man’s face, and gets chased by some kind of Nessy spawn that’s part crustation?

On the whole, this movie would have been more successful if it were simpler (Or perhaps if it had harkened back to some campy source material from yesterday like The Loch Ness Horror from 1982 that—as far as I can tell—has absolutely nothing to do with this 2023 version?). Instead of using a war ship, why not charter one really nice boat? Rather than a crew of seven or eight, why not make it a small crew of four or five researchers? Instead of being hijacked by thugs, why not get hijacked by pirates? Or, better yet, cut out the hostage part of the movie and add in more monster screen time!

Though better than expected, the CGI is about on the same level as a SyFy original, the big difference being that SyFy originals occasionally reveal diamonds in the rough, scenes that are tongue-in-cheek, or ideas so absurd that you can’t help but marvel at them. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen in The Loch Ness Horror, and that in itself is some real horror, isn’t it?

All in all, hunting down the Loch Ness monster is a pretty pointless endeavor.