Incident at Loch Ness (2004) – Nessie Footage


Incident at Loch Ness (2004) - Nessie Footage

As a kid I absolutely loved the idea of the Loch Ness monster and had numerous books on the subject. I even remember basing a primary school project on it as a 10 year old!

When I discovered Incident at Loch Ness about a year ago I was understandably excited – what could be more awesome than a horror film based on Nessie footage?

We’ve basically got two of my great loves mashed together – Found Footage and the Loch Ness monster!

Surely I was onto a winner?

Werner Herzog

Before I sat down to watch this film I knew very little about German director Werner Herzog. In 2003 he apparently set up a real-life investigation into the depths of Loch Ness to document humanity’s need to fuel a mystery.

Simply put – I don’t think he really had any sort of opinion on the monster itself.

Somehow Hollywood director Zak Penn got wind of this investigation and managed to weave Herzog’s documentary into a mockumentary film. He simply mixed the truth with a bit of fiction and ended up with a Found Footage film.

It resulted in a really clever and unique offering for the genre that surprised many critics…and me!

The Plot

So, the Incident at Loch Ness is set up as a documentary about Herzog, shot through the camera of John Bailey. He is filming Herzog’s supposed ‘real life’ attempts to track down the monster once and for all.

Unfortunately for Herzog, Hollywood director Zak Penn has got wind of his documentary and he wants a slice of the action himself.

He goes about doing everything in his ‘big bucks’ power to sabotage Herzog’s documentary. He believes that he is able to make the mission a much more successful attempt by drawing the media into the equation.

But the pair of them do not bank on the legend actually being true…


I was expecting a film that was a lot more serious than I got but Incident in Loch Ness is not really set up to go down that route.

Instead it is a very clever piece of filmmaking that gets you head scratching as to what’s real and what’s not?

It manages to fixate on the everyday questions surrounding the Loch Ness legend and it does not take sides – it plays out very much ‘on the fence’.


A really intelligent and dry humored offering with superb performances throughout. If you are looking for a Found Footage ‘scare-fest’ then this is certainly NOT the title for you!

Throughout the film Herzog has been ‘game’ enough to let the plot take the piss out of his own career. There are even references to the Klaus Kinski classics that he was involved in.

I was really taken back by Herzog’s capabilities – turns out he’s a surprisingly talented comic actor that has a genuinely unique presence on-screen.

But the real ‘selling point’ of the movie is the way it turns it’s back on more traditional Found Footage efforts. Instead of centering itself on the monster it opts to highlight a documentary that has gone horribly and hilariously wrong.

I think this factor really gives the movie a hidden strength – you become confused with the genre element and what you’re supposed to be watching.

I think about 50% of Found Footage traditionalists will turn their back on this film and that’s fine with me – I see where they are coming from.

I am part of the remaining 50% – I quite enjoyed the change!

Good stuff – worth watching!




  1. Nice- I’d been avoiding this one for some reason, but you make it sound worth the effort! Will now watch! 🙂

  2. Great review as usual!

    You gotta love Herzog. All though some of the later documentary efforts seems a bit like he’s just going through the motions, you gotta give the man credit for an amazing body of work in the last 4 decades or so. The movie “My Best Fiend” about Klaus Kinski and himself is a true classic and a great introduction to a couple of the most facinating artists of our time.

    “Incident…” differs from pretty much everything else he’s done, so there’s no real reason to compare it to other Herzog movies, but as a FF/mockumentary
    it’s a very entertaining and well made. Think I’ve seen it 4 or 5 times in the last ten years.

    On a different note, I just watched the Eliya Wood movie “Open Windows” from last year and it turned out to be like 90 % found footage. And a pretty good one as well. Anyone else seen it?

    • Ah I forgot about that one John – I watched it about 6 months ago but I couldn’t make my mind up on whether it would fit on the site or not. I’m sold now – I’ll review it next week as a semi-FF attempt!

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