Unleashing the Epic: Exploring the Top 10 Loch Ness Monster Movies, Ranked

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep / Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures

Movies have always been a gateway to our wildest imaginations, allowing us to unravel mysteries and spark our sense of wonder. Among the plethora of legendary creatures, Nessie, the Loch Ness monster of the Scottish Highlands, reigns supreme.

Nestled deep within the depths of Scotland’s largest lake (or loch), the mythical Nessie has inspired a handful of movies. For avid Nessie enthusiasts and monster movie lovers alike, we have compiled a list of the top 10 movies featuring the infamous Loch Ness monster.

Brace yourself for a thrilling plunge into a world where the extraordinary becomes reality, and Nessie comes to life on the silver screen. So, without further ado, let’s dive in!

Incident at Loch Ness
Incident at Loch Ness / Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Incident at Loch Ness (2004)

The 2004 mockumentary Incident at Loch Ness follows the making of a fictional film about the Loch Ness monster. However, things take quite a turn when the actual creature appears to the crew. The film pokes fun at the sensationalism surrounding the mythical creature. Its mix of horror, comedy, and suspense, along with the fact that it’s a film within a film within a film, make it one of the most entertaining Nessie movies seen so far.

Incident at Loch Ness stars Werner Herzog, Zak Penn, Kitana Baker, Gabriel Beristain, Russell Williams II, Crispin Glover, Jeff Goldblum, Lena Herzog, and Ricky Jay. It’s available for free on The Roku Channel and YouTube.

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep (2007)

This Loch Ness Monster movie takes place during World War II. It centers on a young boy named Angus McMorrow, who discovers a mysterious egg. The young boy cares for the creature that emerges from the egg when it hatches, called a “Water horse.” The creature would later become known as the Loch Ness Monster.

The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep stars Alex Etel, Emily Watson, Ben Chaplin, David Morrissey, Priyanka Xi, Marshall Napier, Joel Tobeck, Erroll Shand, Craig Hall, and Geraldine Brophy. It’s available on Hulu, Max, and Amazon Prime with a premium subscription and for purchase on YouTube, Apple TV and Vudu.

The Ballad of Nessie
The Ballad of Nessie / Photo Credit: Disney

The Ballad of Nessie (2011)

Disney has animated the Loch Ness Monster for its 2011 short feature, The Ballad of Nessie. Returning to its traditional 2D animation style, The Ballad of Nessie follows the titular character living in a small pond with her best friend MacQuack. Nessie is soon forced to find a new home when a rich developer named MacFroogal destroys the pond and the surrounding land to build a miniature golf course.

Nessie’s search for a new home is quite a journey when she faces a lot of rejection. She is always told to keep a stiff upper lip when she feels like crying until she finally loses hope and breaks down. Nessie cries for weeks until she realizes that her tears have created Loch Ness, becoming a new home for her and MacQuack. Narrated by Billy Connolly, the movie is available on Disney+ with a subscription or available for purchase on YouTube, Apple TV, and Vudu.

The Loch Ness Horror (1982)

When it comes to Loch Ness monster movies, the 1982 independent The Loch Ness Horror is often mentioned. While the entire feature and all its aspects were widely panned even in its limited release, it still bears a spot simply for being so notoriously poorly received. The film was shot in Lake Tahoe, which director Larry Buchanan doubled for Scotland.

The movie is straightforward – the Loch Ness monster goes on a killing spree as it feeds on unsuspecting swimmers. As the monster goes on its killing spree, the main storyline ties in with three other subplots. From the monster’s egg that is ready to hatch, to a scientist who wants to capture the creature, and a mysterious sunken Nazi bomber aircraft that the military is trying to cover up.

The Loch Ness Horror stars Sandy Kenyon, Miki MacKenzie, Eric Scott, Barry Buchanan, Karey Louis-Scott, Doc Livingston, Stuart Lancaster, Preston Hanson, and Garth Pillsbury.

The Secret of the Loch (1934)

This title is the oldest Loch Ness Monster movie on our list. It’s also the earliest film made about Nessie. The 1934 British feature follows Professor Heggie, who is keen to prove to the skeptical scientific community that the Loch Ness Monster exists. Professor Heggie receives help from a young London reporter named Jimmy Anderson, who believes him. Jimmy manages to muster up the courage to enter the Loch, facing the monster itself.

The Secret of the Loch stars Seymour Hicks, Nancy O’Neil, Gibson Gowland, Frederick Peisley, Eric Hales, Rosamund John, and Ben Field among an ensemble cast. Directed by Milton Rosmer, they used a live iguana to portray Nessie.

Loch Ness (1996)

Steering from the horror to something for the family, the 1996 movie Loch Ness follows American zoologist Dr. John Dempsey who is tasked to debunk the myth behind Nessie. John reluctantly agrees to go, but only for the money that can allow him to pay his ex-wife’s alimony. He travels to Scotland and meets his late colleague’s assistant Adrian Foote, who believes in the monster among a host of locals.

Loch Ness stars Ted Danson, Joely Richardson, Ian Holm, Harris Yulin, James Frain, Keith Allen, Nick Brimble, and Edward Hibbert. You can stream it for free on Tubi and The Roku Channel or with an Amazon Prime Video or YouTube subscription.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes / Photo Credit: The Mirisch Corporation

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)

Even the popular sleuth Sherlock Holmes also dealt with the Loch Ness Monster in Billy Wilder’s 1970 feature. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes is mostly about the famous detective’s well, personal life. Sherlock and Watson travel to Scotland to investigate the disappearance of an engineer, and Watson sees the Loch Ness Monster. 

The missing engineer is involved in building a submarine for the British Navy… and we’ll leave it there.

The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes stars Robert Stephens, Colin Blakely, Genevieve Page, Christopher Lee, Irene Handle, Clive Revill, and Tamara Toumanova. You can watch it for free on YouTube, Tubi, Pluto TV, or Amazon Prime Video.

Magic in the Water
Magic in the Water / Photo Credit: Oxford Film Company

Magic in the Water (1995)

While the Loch Ness Monster isn’t the creature on which the film’s story is centered, it’s close enough. Magic in the Water follows two siblings, Ashley and Joshua Black, on vacation in British Columbia. While vacationing by a lake, they also learn about its mythical resident, a lake monster affectionately named Orky.

The creature doesn’t just turn out to be real. It also has the ability to possess people as a form of communication with humans.

Magic in the Water stars Mark Harmon, Joshua Jackson, Harley Jane Kozak, and Sarah Wayne. It’s available for streaming (paid) on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, and Apple TV.

Loch Ness Terror
Loch Ness Terror / Photo Credit: Cinetel Films

Loch Ness Terror (2008)

A made-for-television horror flick, the 2008 Loch Ness Terror (also called Beyond Loch Ness) follows cryptozoologist James Murphy. James is known to be one of the people who was attacked by the Loch Ness monster 30 years ago. The attack killed his father and research assistants, also leaving James with a facial scar.

Loch Ness Terror stars Brian Krause, Niall Matter, Amber Borycki, Carrie Genzel, Don S. Davis, and Sebastian Gacki. It’s available to stream for free on Tubi, The Roku Channel, and Amazon Prime Video.

Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster
Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster / Photo Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions

Scooby-Doo and the Loch Ness Monster (2004)

Similar to Sherlock Holmes, the iconic team of Mystery Inc. also had their encounter. The animated film follows the gang’s visit to the Scottish Highlands for a vacation. However, their vacation turns out to be anything but when they are drawn to solving the mystery of the Loch Ness Monster.

Scooby-Doo! And the Loch Ness Monster stars Casey Kasem, Frank Welker, Grey DeLisle, Mindy Cohn, Jeff Bennett, and Sheena Easton. You can purchase the film on YouTube, Apple TV, or Vudu.


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