Retro Review: The Lost Boys
Aside from slashers the other prevalent horror trend in 80’s cinema was finding ways to take classic monsters and present them in fresh modern ways. John Landis and Joe Dante gave a new generation an interpretation on werewolves they could call their own with An American Werewolf in LondonAn American Werewolf in Londonand the Howling. With his remake of the Thing as well as They Live, horror legend John Carpenter gave us an entirely new way at looking at alien invasions. As far as cinema’s favorite monsters, the vampire is concerned; there was the cult classic Fright Night as well as the utterly hip 1987 movie we will be taking a look at the Lost Boys.
Teenagers Michael and Sam are forced to move with their newly singled Lucy to Santa Carla, California to live with their eccentric grandfather. While Lucy falls in love with Max played by the late great Edward Hermann and Sam makes friends with the Frog Brothers who work at the local comic shop, Michael falls in with a crew of rebellious punk rock kids who only come out at night. During a night of partying Michael discovers that his new friend David and rest of his crew are vampires with a plan to have him join the ranks of the undead. Sam and the Frog Brothers take up arms to help Michael who is losing his humanity by the moment. The only hope they have of saving his soul is by killing the head vampire.
Let me get this out of the way early, Joel Schumacher may have justifiably earned the scorn of fanboys and fangirls everywhere for his cinematic take on Batman; but this guy made a kick ass horror movie. The Lost Boys oozes of pure 80’s punk rock cool in every scene. Originally envisioned as a tame vampire flick for kids, Schumacher had the vision to make the movie about teenagers and ramp up the style of the movie. Schumacher brought every element of this movie; from the wardrobe to the cinematography to the make-up to the soundtrack to the humor, together to form a cohesive story unlike any vampire film that had come out before.
The ensemble put together for the Lost Boys is another big reason for its success. Of course everyone brings up Kiefer Sutherland and the Coreys, and what they bring to the flick. This is to be expected as Corey Haim nails the comedic relief of the movie perfectly along with Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander. Young Kiefer Sutherland has an incredible screen presence as the head vampire David, aside from the fact he gets all the lines, his natural charisma clearly establishes him as being in charge of the other bloodsuckers in his crew. Throughout the film he has an underlying hint of danger and menace in his performance, but there is also a charm that is impossible to ignore. As the adults in this world, Schumacher cast two respected fan favorite character actors in the form of Dianne Wiest and Edward Hermann who add a great deal of legitimacy to this fun teen horror flick.
The Lost Boys is often cited as the movies which dragged vampires into the modern era, replacing capes and coffins with leather jackets and mohawks. Every elements of this movie has an undeniable hipness which still stands up to this day. Joel Schumacher is able to find the perfect balance between the humor and the horror in telling this story which is a large reason for its continued success. If nothing else the Lost Boys is absolutely beautiful to look at and with each remastered edition that comes out, this element of the movie just gets better and better. No matter what you are looking for in a horror movie, the Lost Boys probably has you covered and still stands as one of the most beloved vampire movies of all time.