Sunday, May 21, 2023

Incident at Loch Ness (2004).

It's difficult to tell just what the reputation of Found Footage, or the Mockumentary style film is like these days.  The best guess I can offer is that by and large, audiences range somewhere between a general indifference to disdain about the whole sub-genre.  If Horror fiction remains the black sheep of all the major popular modes of storytelling (the others being Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Comedy; all of whom share greater levels of public acceptance than the one where zombies routinely crawl out of the grave to sample a gourmet meal of human grey matter), then it seems as if the Found Footage tale is the outcast among the runts of the litter.  While there may be some who are able to find a genuine level of enjoyment from these types narratives, it looks as this is the one type of Horror story that is always going to remain an acquired taste.  It's fortunes are never really going to allow it to rise above its designated station.  Not even the help of a critically acclaimed filmmaker, someone like German New Wave wunderkind, Werner Herzog, will be able to allow these stories the same legitimacy as films Psycho (1960), or Halloween (1978).  It also helps to bear in mind, even these classics are regarded with a jaundiced eye.  The inescapable truth is that Horror lives the shadows of its fellow genre siblings, and Found Footage seems doomed to forever live within the shadow of those shadows.

Not that this is any major complaint, lots of movies out there are able to survive as products of  the niche market, and in an age where the niche demographic is slowly starting to become the norm in show business, it seems like even the blackest of sheep might one day have their own place in the Sun.  That in turn brings us to today's film.  It turns out I wasn't at all lying when I said a filmmaker of Herzog's stature once lent his efforts to the making of a Found Footage Mockumentary.  In retrospect, I'm no longer quite sure how I found out about a movie like Incident at Loch Ness.  I suppose I could have been looking up something to do with the legend of the famous Scottish lake when it happened, and I stumbled upon it that way.  Or else I might have been trying to study up on Herzog himself.  I'm a movie fan with an occasional taste for the more obscure and avant-garde types of cinema.  I'm also the kind of guy who gets a surprising amount of enjoyment from studying urban legends, and the types of ancient folklore that has managed to survive even up to the present day, and Nessie is one of them.  All I know for certain is that it was at a meeting point of one of these subjects that allowed me to stumble upon a trailer for the last kind of film project I could have expected.

The Story

When I first saw the link for the Loch Ness trailer, I'm not sure I could either believe, or quite trust what I was seeing.  The further I looked into things, the more this initial reaction proved vital to the story that unfolded.  To begin at the beginning, however.  My first taste of this movie came from its trailer.  There was Herzog, himself, the director who helped place 1970s Germain cinema on the map.  Now, all of a sudden, here he was, acting as part of a group of explorers.  He was described as the director and leader of a team of filmmakers who had set out to make a documentary about Loch Ness, and its famous legend.  However strange it might have been, I guess the trailer must have done its job, as I decided almost then and there to track down a copy, and find out the whole story for myself.  The story I found would almost sound unbelievable if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.  At the heart of the story is Herzog himself.  As the film opens, we see him getting ready to gear up for the making of a new documentary.  At first sight, the title might sound almost like a joke, The Enigma of Loch Ness.

It calls to mind all those cheesy, phoned-in Discovery specials that now dot the landscape of late night TV.  The ones where its pretty clear everyone is telling a story, rather than relating anything like actual, real life information.  Herzog insists, however, that his goal for this feature is going to be different.  The director admits right up front that he has no real interest in the titular lake monster as something that could really exist.  "This whole thing about Loch Ness", he tells the camera, "is more or less a figment of our fantasy". Instead, he's more fascinated by it as a piece of folklore that humans have first dreamed of, and then have managed to keep alive through the span of literal centuries.  Even if Nessie is a myth, that still leaves the question of its staying power.  The inherent ability of even the simplest of stories (which in this case involves little more than a series of anecdotes strung together to create less of a cohesive narrative, and more like this grand tapestry of old world legend) seems to be Herzog's real interest in all of of this.  And it appears that he views the legend of Loch Ness as the perfect vehicle to help him investigate, uncover, and explore the potential, and power of stories and storytelling.  For Herzog, all good stories contain, or represent what he calls "An Ecstatic Truth", and it is this, more than any one, local legend, which appears to be the main focus of his new, upcoming documentary.

As the film opens, Herzog is packing up for a trip to Scotland, in order to commence filming.  These opening moments do give us a bit of interesting tidbits of both Herzog's personal and professional life.  We're treated to a warm, and inviting look into the director's Wonderland residence, in Hollywood, California.  The wall is littered with mementos of past glories, such as props and photos from films such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972), and Fitzcarraldo (1982), both of which starred the now infamous Klaus Kinski (whom Herzog telling refers to as My Best Fiend).  Plus, the viewer is treated to a brief, yet clearly loving tribute to his mentor, Lotte Eisner.  The picture that the director projects to the viewer in these opening moments is that of a sophisticated, yet consummate professional.  Someone who isn't just a fan, but is very passionate about cinema.  However, what makes Herzog come off a likable in these moments is that his dedication also gives him a sense of humility about his enthusiasms.  There's the sense that Herzog still views himself as a pupil willing to learn all that the medium can teach him.  A good example of this is when he greets the arrival of Gabriel "Gabby" Beristain (himself), who will be his cinematographer for the Loch Ness shoot.  Beristain tells how the director has been one of his biggest influence, and Herzog sheepishly replies, "Oh come on, now, let's talk real movies".

In addition, we get the arrival of other guests such as stage magician Ricky Jay, Crispin Glover, and Jeff Goldblum.  The send off party seems to be going pretty well, with Goldblum and Jay even giving the audience some commentary on the nature of storytelling.  The first off note comes with the arrival of Zak Penn, the documentary's producer.  It soon develops there's a bit of friction over just what kind of film is being made at Loch Ness.  Herzog envisions a straightforward slice-of-life rumination in the same vein as later works such as Grizzly Man (2005), or Cave of Forgotten Dreams (2010).  Zak, meanwhile, sees it as one of the aforementioned Discovery Channel rip-offs, at best, or a mindless blockbuster entertainment, at worst.  To say that things get off to a rocky start is a bit like saying the Donner Party might have been a tad unprepared for a trek through the wilderness.  Everybody seems to be on the same page, except for Penn.  That's the kind of friction point that could cause troubles somewhere down the line, and it doesn't take long for Zak to start proving the rule.

First, he tries to hijack the scheduling sessions for each days shoot, bringing in story boards and models that he thinks will help the film out.  Werner politely "reminds" Zak that he's making a documentary, not a film.  Which means he can't rely on special effects if trying to capture reality as it is on celluloid.  It starts out as a minor behind the scenes skirmish, yet it soon escalates from there.  Next Zak tries to shoe horn in the type of fake documentary co-host (Michael Karnow) who has since become a dietary staple of faux documentary series on channels like Animal Planet.  Needless to say, this throws Herzog off, and tensions begin to escalate between the director and his producer.  Penn doesn't help things when he brings aboard a sonar operator (played by real life model, Kitana Baker, complete with Stars and Stripes bikini) to perform as an "actor" in this documentary.  Zak appears to have been trying to cater to the sex appeal demographic in this case.  It comes close to being the straw that breaks the camel's back, and it seems as if news of the troubled production is leaking beyond the set, as the townsfolk of Loch Ness are beginning to treat them all as a laughing stock, damaging the project's reputation.

For quite a while there, it looks as if things are going to arrive at some kind of loggerheads moment.  That's when Gabby the cameraman's attention is grabbed by the sight of something swimming by in the waters of the Loch, and then...

Conclusion: An Unjustly Overlooked Bit of Neat Showbiz Satire.

My reactions to this film kept following an interesting sort of pattern.  I would always start out as potentially intrigued by the setup I was being given, and then as it developed I would be left wondering where all this was going.  After which, the payoff would arrive, and everything would start falling into place.  This was the basic schematic that the whole film seems predicated upon.  It reels you in, and then plays its plot beats out in such a way that it keeps you guessing, trying to figure out not just what's going to happen, but also sometimes even what kind of story it is you're watching.  That's not a criticism, by the way.  Rather, I tend to see it as a sign of the script's overall intelligence.  The film's real director, Zak Penn, has managed to construct a riddle of surprising intricacy for his viewers.  He starts out by treating us to a literal sleight of hand, as Ricky Jay performs a complete magic card trick on camera, with nothing but his skills as a stage performer to guide him, and he pulls it off in a single flourish.  This is an important sequence in retrospect, as it represents Penn signaling to the audience at least part of the nature of the film we're about to watch, the director is going to attempt a kind of magic trick on his audience, and part of that process involves being able to spot the nature of the deceit.

The key to the whole trick is one that begins to emerge as the film goes on.  At first it may look as if all the pieces are taking their time falling into place.  However the major conflict of the plot arrives on the scene in pretty quick fashion, and when it does, the rest of the story begins to make all kinds of ironic sense, and the satire at the heart of the narrative begins to come clear.  In fact, this might just be the best part of the entire film.  The reason for that is because it shows how Penn as a director seems to grasp the often tricky nature of narrative subtlety.  It's always possible for a director to show and tell through careful, and indirect implication, though I'm not sure how much of a common skill it is, as it requires a great deal of craftsmanship to pull off in a good way.  Besides this, Zak Penn's own reputation in show business pegs him as an unlikely candidate for that kind of a role.  The guy worked on the X Men films, and Ready Player One.  So it's not like we're going in expecting him to gives anything more sophisticated than that.  In that sense, Penn does manage to surprise us with the sure, even, and careful handling of his material.  The crux of his success stems from the way he draws the plot's two main leads.  Every performer is playing a fictionalized version of themselves, including Werner Herzog.

This is a crucial piece of the film's logic.  Rather than going the usual Mockumentary route of crafting a series of fictional characters, Penn's script makes it clear that all of the main cast are people who exist in actual life (whatever that is).  The key difference is that each of them has had their real, day-to-day quirks or personal traits taken and amplified up to pretty much satirical levels of caricature.  Even here, however, Penn is demonstrates that he's smart to play his cards with slow, deliberate care.  The story doesn't emerge out of the starting gate with everything already full tilt, and actors hamming it up on screen.  Instead, he makes the wise choice of making the plot begin in what appears to be a reasonable facsimile of how things are like in the world outside of the film.  It would have been so easy with a director of Herzog's stature to go all in and play up a sense of larger than life bombast, portraying him as this kind of old school auteur egoist who's still full of himself, even when it's clear he's long past his prime.  It's the kind of creative choice a rookie might be willing to go for.  Penn, however, decides on a subtler strategy than that.  This stands the film in more or less good stead, as it allows the play to have an identity of its own, while it clearly borrowing more than liberally from This is Spinal Tap.

Much like Rob Reiner's 1984 breakout project, Incident is very much the story of clashing egos that comes to a head while trying to create an artistic project.  In Reiner's film, it's the golden ticket Rock concert to the big time.  In Penn's version, it's a hoped for film that is ultimately at the mercy of two divergent creative visions.  The Herzog of Loch Ness sees it as a straightforward documentary about the human ability to create its own folklore, and how this in turn gives life meaning.  The imaginary version of Penn, however, keeps nudging the director in the direction of a big budget spectacle that is at 180 degree odds with the type of director that Werner is.  And it's the way in which Penn frames this drama that the careful intelligence of his approach to the material begins to make itself known.  Rather than being portrayed as a clown, or a buffoon, Herzog always comes off as the most grounded, and level headed of the entire cast.  Even when the script calls for him to fire a flare gun at the approaching humpback of an giant, on-coming water lizard, the former New Wave filmmaker is still a class act.

The real goal of all the film's satire is where things get interesting, as Penn allows himself to be the one with the target on his head.  If the film paints Herzog as a consummate professional who is dedicated to the craft of his art, then Pen basically gives himself the role of the garden snake.  His fictional version of himself is the one who winds up going around making the most mischief for everyone, and causing a lot of less than necessary trouble while out on location, filming.  If Herzog is always presented as someone who is always comfortable and responsible enough in front of the camera, then the moment Penn's caricature first appears on-stage, you can tell something's up with him, and it doesn't look like anything good.  He's skittish and skeevy where Werner is open and forthcoming.  And he even goes out of his way to ask that the cameras be either turned off while he and Herzog are in production meetings, or else that they go somewhere else so they can't be overheard.  All of this suspicious activity keeps sounding an off note that resonates throughout the rest of the film.

What's remarkable is that even in a situation which offers the novice so many easy routes to take, Penn still manages to find a way to keep a sense of mystery about his character's motivations going for a just a bit longer than you might expect.  What's even more interesting is that when the motivation for his character's actions does come, it's not handled in the way it usually is in this kind of movie.  A normal Found Footage film would have a big reveal about the reasons for the protagonist getting the rest of the main cast caught up in a deadly situation, and it would be treated as this big moment of shock that serves to drive a wedge between the group of filmmakers, splintering their ability to either trust or ally with one another to possibly fight or find their way out of their predicament.  Here, Penn takes the typical conceit and flips it by having the reveal be nothing more than a minor throwaway bit of dialogue mentioned in passing.  It's all to do with him needing to take a phone call from some unseen "backers" located in L.A.  We never here anymore about them, except that Penn makes a promise to them that he will have the results they want of him in the can and ready to go when he gets back.  What's neat about this is that we in the audience have been given the blink and miss it info that solves the whole puzzle.

What Penn has done in just one scene is reveal the subtext of the whole film, and the nature of its satire becomes crystal clear.  It paint's Penn's character as really just this mindless Hollywood hack who was so desperate to break into the big leagues, that he pretty much lied to and roped in Herzog in order to make what he hopes will be a big budget monster movie spectacle, using the German director's name as a mere bit of necessary clout, in order to sell tickets.  There are bits and pieces of dialogue sprinkled throughout the film that hint at Penn being at the mercy of a bunch of rich Hollywood investors.  The implication being that he was dumb and desperate enough to pitch a promise to them that he could get Herzog (one of the most dedicated independent filmmakers on the planet) to lend his talents to a mere blockbuster.  This is all the subtext that is driving Penn the character's actions, and as the film goes on, it becomes clear just how far out of his depth and resources he is in terms of being able to achieve his own selfish goals.  And its here that the Mockumentary's genetic relationship to film's like Spinal Tap begins to make better sense.  

Both films serve as satires of the downside of show business, and the pitfalls of trying to achieve fame.  Where each differs from the other comes from their respective vantage points.  Spinal Tap is about the downward slope of a mediocre, wannabe Rock band trying to have a make or break moment of fame, and that big break never arriving, with the main cast on a continuous downward slope.  Incident at Loch Ness, can be said to at least mirror this conceit, and yet the way it approaches the idea is from a more or less polar opposite perspective.  Here, we have a justly famous artist, one with a great deal of skill, experience, and natural talent, having his name slowly dragged through the mud by a producer who could almost by this film's version of David St. Hubbins.  It's almost as if the main lead of Reiner's film decided to cut his losses, try to make a career for himself in the film industry, and still can't figure out a way to solve the problem of his own, inherent mediocrity.  Herzog, meanwhile, performs admirably in what could be considered the near thankless role of a put upon, main lead-straight man for the antics.

Much like Spinal Tap, the fictionalized version of the real life artist finds himself getting slowly dragged into the quicksand of untalented hubris that breaks out all around him.  At one point, his character even tries to confront Penn about all of this, pointing to how he was flat-out lied to about the kind of film he was supposed to be making.  Herzog almost goes through with making the right decision of cutting his losses and leaving the production behind, until he realizes that this would play right into his popular reputation as a difficult, slightly unhinged filmmaker, and that Zak now has him over a barrel, with a rap sheet that he has been eager to avoid for some time now.  It's one of the most comedic moments in the film, as you can see the gears turning in Herzog's head as he realizes the nature of the mess he's stepped into, thus forcing him to swallow his pride, and go along with the filming.  It's another one of those moments that the film handles with subtle intelligence, and it firmly places the audience on Herzog's side as the final act begins, and the story takes a turn for the weird, and folkloric.

I suppose the one element of the film that gives me the most pause is the final act.  In a way, it's the kind of denouement you'd expect for a Found Footage film, such as this.  At the same time, I guess what leaves me scratching my head isn't so much the logic of the final, major plot development, so much as its meaning.  The last half of the film kicks off in the expected fashion, when the famous Legend of Loch Ness makes her grand stage entrance at last.  The special effects remain pretty good, even with the passage of time taken into account.  The camera keeps Nessie framed from the top up, leaving the rest of the creature forever submerged underneath the murky waters of the Loch.  This is a creative choice that once more serves the filmmakers in just the right way.  Penn and Herzog seem to have learned their lessons from Steven Spielberg's Jaws well.  Like in the 1975 classic, the monster is only ever caught in flash glimpses, and no more, allowing the audience's imagination to misbehave, wondering if there's anything lurking in the depths right under their feet.  In distinction from her Great White counterpart, Nessie seems both more methodical, patient, and even merciful.  It's implied that there are at least two deaths that occur in the film, yet it's left up in the air if they are monster food.

Beyond this, the third act is concerned first with the film crew's initial encounter with the Loch Ness Monster, and then with a mad dash for what everyone hopes is the relative safety of the nearby shoreline, with the ship's radar signaling that the underwater beast is fast closing in.  It's true enough to say that this is where Penn's film turns its final poker hand up, revealing not just the face of the monster at the heart of either the film or its title, but also the very nature of the kind of movie we're watching.  It's a classic Creature Feature, in other words, something that in olden days might have enjoyed a decent run of late night screenings at a lot of local area drive-ins.  The one other thing I'm convinced that Penn is doing here is trying to telegraph to the audience the final message of his story.  I'm just having trouble figuring out what that is.  Whenever I try to figure out what Penn and Herzog are up to with Nessie and her place in the story, then the best solution I'm able to arrive at is that while they may be reverting back to what might be called the main themes of the Found Footage, Mockumentary genre, the good news is they never half-ass it, and instead are able to inject a bit of class into the proceedings.

I think in order to understand Nessie's place in the film, you have to go back a bit of the ways to one of my earlier forays into this sub-genre.  That's where I pointed out that one of the key aims of this type of story is that of the confrontation of the digital cinematic age with almost a more classical, folkloric past.  If you stop and think about it, it's kind of the ultimate reasondetre of the Mockumentary.  At its core, what you always get is a group of individuals trying to tackle a subject which is far too great for them.  The inciting incident is always some act of hubris, a rebellion of a microcosm against a greater, macrocosmic order, to borrow the words of Stephen King.  The overall goal of such stories, therefore, is precisely to help expose all of the flaws of the main cast, by having them confront the very thing they perhaps never believed in.  As I've said elsewhere, the crux of such encounters can (in the best examples of this genre) amount to a kind of test of character.  The usual fate of the Found Footage protagonist is that of the Tragic End.  However, I think what needs to be pointed out here is that's not always the case.  Believe it or not, there are some examples where the lead players are able to get off, if not quite Scot free, then at least with their lives as intact as possible, and that's the case with this movie.

The thing to keep in mind is that just because a protagonist has survived a Found Footage movie doesn't mean they haven't been changed by the experience.  The one who comes away the most deeply affected by the whole ordeal is Herzog, as he's seen what should be a mere piece of fantasy turn into a striking reality.  In that sense, the great director has had a private illusion of control shattered by his direct encounter with Nessie.  His whole character arc, in other words (along with that of Penn, whose character sees all his hopes and dreams of personal glory go up in smoke) fulfill all the requirements of the classic Modern Gothic.  

It's with all of this information in mind, and sorted together, that I think I'm able to figure out what the Loch Ness Monster is doing there now.  In the simplest terms, I'm starting to think it makes sense to view Incident at Loch Ness as a good example of a Folk Horror film, with Nessie herself serving as perhaps one of the most natural (if underutilized) figures to be of service to this very particular type of Horror story.  She's as much a creature of Folk Horror as that of the more familiar Green Man.  All of the monsters and ghosts of this brand of the English Gothic are meant to represent the once common, yet now forbidden and arcane knowledge that us mere mortals used to know a long time ago, but have now allowed ourselves to forget.  In doing so, we've become proud, arrogant, and disrespectful of the land, its secret commonwealth of mythic-spectral inhabitants, and most of all, it's creepy powers.

In that sense, a lot of the horror of the Folk Gothic can be said to fall into the Revenge of Nature category.  The major difference between this English Horror trope and an American film like Jaws (at least I think, I could be wrong on this) is that nature now has a whole army and arsenal of supernatural helpers at its disposal when it comes to dealing with pesky humans who would try to spoil the Earth.  There's been a bit of a rival of this type of story within recent years, and I don't think it's that difficult to see why.  With all this in mind, it becomes kind of easy to see why a creature like Nessie would be a perfect fit for a monster in a Folk Horror story.  Like the figure of Jack in the Green or maybe even Tom Bombadil , she embodies a power, or belief in an idea or value that can inhabit, dwell within, or in some sense is the very land on which we stand.  In her case, she has a double resonance with this artistic notion, as she is able to encompass both the land and the sea in one single, almost perfect setting.

So the more I turn this film over in my mind, the cleverer it becomes.  It really does seem as if Herzog and Penn have managed to cook up a fine, modern folktale couched in the trappings of what might seem like a shallow exercise of Mockumentary footage, yet is really very much something else.  This has got to be one of the few times I can say it feels as if I'm watching a Found Footage story that work as a deliberate satire of some kind.  And the curious thing is that the filmmakers are playing their cards in a way that works well with the already baked in themes of the sub-genre.  The major difference between this and other examples of the idea, like Blair Witch, all seems to rest on what might be termed a matter, or question of emphasis.  A film like the Project is concerned with the old fairy tale morality of "Don't Do Into the Woods".  It's system of values can be considered as folkloric, pure and simple.  Everything about that movie paints an ethical trajectory that is as stark black and white as the cinematography.  A lot of that value system appears to carry over into Loch Ness without missing a beat, yet the nature of the moral emphasis has shifted here a bit.  I don't just mean that the tone of the Herzog film is less severe than what you can expect to find in Blair Witch.  It's something more.

In both films, the horrors at the center of each narrative might be described as "teaching" the main cast "a lesson in humility".  For whatever reason, though, Nessie seems to treat her victim's with, if not a gentle hand, than definitely one that is a lot less severe as the famous Burkittsville Legend.  I think a lot of that has to do with the type of offenses that the fictional versions of Herzog and Penn commit on screen.  If every Found Footage protagonist is a Dionysian agent out of order with the rest of Apollonian society, then the Found Footage terror fulfills the role of a kind of Gothic re-ordering function.  It's the macrocosm's way of making sure that the microcosm doesn't drag everything else too over the edge.  Looked at from this lens, it seems that Herzog and Penn are guilty of letting their respective egos get in the way of the proper job of art itself.  It suggests that their final confrontation with Nessie is one that was almost a guarantee even before they first set foot out in the water.  The film seems to hint at this by someone noting that something as simple as renaming a boat can be bad luck.

It's the film's way of signaling the lack of awareness and self-absorption that the film's two leads suffer from, and their encounter with the living folklore of Loch Ness is a way of shaking the both of them out of their cages.  In doing so, the film appears to be making a point about the respect for the craft and heart that goes into the creation of stories.  It's not an uncommon theme, yet it is rare to find it being tackled within the Found Footage format.  A lot of it has to do with the usual criticisms that get lobbed at this type of narrative.  And to be fair, there is a case to be made that the worst examples of this kind of film is little more than a cheap cash grab.  What's interesting is that this really doesn't seem to be the case for Penn's movie.  Instead, what happens is that it's almost as if the director has created a satire of the recovered movie genre, if that makes any sense.  I guess the fact that I'm having to look for the right words to describe it says a lot about how uncommon that kind of approach is in a setup like this.  It's gotten to the point where all we expect is a paint-by-the-numbers product, not something that amounts to an actual, legitimate, full-length, cinematic critique of this particular type of narrative approach.

Yet this appears to be what Zak Penn is up to with Incident at Loch Ness.  The overall impression it leaves me with is that it's the work of a director who is quite willing to call himself a fan of the sub-genre.  However, he's also willing to call out its usual faults.  This willingness to poke fun of the Found Footage story is further developed into a scathing barb at the kind of Hollywood mindset that allows the value of Art to be compromised for the sake of whatever selfish goals that the business end of things is willing to pursue at the expense of a good story.  Like I say, this is not the kind of experience you expect to get out a film like this.  The fact that Zak Penn and Werner Herzog were able to go, or else try and find the extra mile that would elevate their material out of the realm of the knock-off, and onto the level of legitimate satire seems to indicate that this is a story with a greater deal of thought put into it than most of us are going to expect.  I think I should leave off, however, by pointing out that if I've made this film sound like a boring thematic slog, then let me apologize, and assure you that's not the case.  In fact, this might just be the funniest Found Footage Horror movie out there.

Penn's directorial style is lively and quick, keeping the viewer's attention from start to finish.  What's more, he's able to handle the way the story shifts gears between Farce and Horror with a skill that gives the proceedings all the sense of natural development that's necessary to draw the audience in, and leave them wanting more.  The result is a movie that serves as both a great change of pace from the normal Found Footage narrative, as well as being a funny and engrossing piece of entertainment.  The only sad thing to report is how it looks as if this movie has fallen way off the radar with the passing of years.  That's kind of a shame, really, as it's got a lot to recommend it.  In fact, during an age which has forced the audience to grapple with question of what is real and what is fabrication, it could be possible that this film's moment to shine and educate, as well as entertain might just be either around the corner, or else the time is now, and with any luck this review will cause viewers to help it seize it's moment in the spotlight.  I think Incident at Loch Ness is well worth hunting down, and given a chance to shine.   

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