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Lost Colony: The Legend of Roanoke - horror/sci-fi DVD review
rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association of America curledupdvd.com rating: 2 1/2 stars
Actors: Adrian Paul, Frida Show, Rhett Giles, Michael Teh, Mari Mascaro, Alex McArthur
Director: Matt Codd   Studio: Allumination
DVD release: 20 May 2008   Runtime: 95 minutes (1 disc)
Format: Color, DVD-Video, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
DVD features: Audio tracks (English), Subtitles (Spanish)

In 1587, settlers from England arrive at a previously established camp on the island of Roanoke, off the coast of present-day North Carolina. Ananias Dare (Adrian Paul of Highlander the Series fame) and his wife, Eleanor (Frida Show), who is great with child, encounters a stronghold devoid of the expected previous occupants. The only one remaining is hanging around in one of the buildings - by his neck.

Shortly, Eleanor gives birth to a (three-month-old?) daughter, Virginia - the first child born in the new world... er, by English parents, anyway. The governor of this settlement, John White (Alex McArthur), has to head back to England to gather more supplies. In his absence, his son-in-law Ananias will be left in charge. They are told by the wise indigenous Manteo (Michael Teh) not to go into the heart of the forest by which they're surrounded.

The stage is set. Ananias is left in charge, his wife is having bad dreams of increasingly violent intensity. That's when the wraiths come. Wraiths, we're told, are tortured souls trapped between this world and the next. These Wraiths are of viking descent. You can tell because they wear the horned helmets. The Wraiths want the baby, an innocent soul, to somehow use to get to valhalla. More and more people die, mistakes are made, lessons are learned, all leading up to the big showdown at the end.

For a lightweight horror adventure, it's not too bad, but the effects leave something to be desired. The blood is pretty pink (and perhaps this was done to improve the TV rating); the wraiths, while bearing good makeup, are haloed by blotchy glowing effects that just detract from the makeup.

There are familiar elements in Lost Colony. Within the woods, the trees attack some of the settlers in a way not unlike the trees in The Evil Dead, though without the carnal intent, if you take my meaning. The sun sets at one point in a way similar to a scene in The Evil Dead as well. I consider this homage, and it is appreciated. The film as a whole is not excellent, but if you have some time to kill, why not check it out? I'm pretty sure this is not what happened to the original settlers to Roanoke, but it's an entertaining theory.
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reviewed by Eric Renshaw
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