The Lost Boys paired vampire camp with real teenage fears

The Lost Boys’ poster made the prospect of changing into an undead creature of the night time fairly enticing: “Sleep all day. Party all night. Never grow old. Never die. It’s fun to be a vampire.” However the film’s story is stuffed with teenage terrors: an older sibling within the grips of dependancy, divorced dad and mom, beginning over in a wierd new place, and contending with adults who received’t take heed to your real, legitimate teenage issues.

Launched in 1987, The Lost Boys isn’t significantly terrifying as a horror movie. With its gaudily dressed vampires and long-flowing mullets — plus its iconic, extraordinarily sweaty saxophone man — it reads extra camp than straight horror three many years later. And regardless of its R score, it’s pretty tame. Its single intercourse scene is fairly chaste and the movie’s gore is restricted to gushes of blood from dying vampires.

The Lost Boys succeeds as an everlasting piece of vampire fiction due to its stars, with Kiefer Sutherland standing out as vampire gang chief David, and the robust bones of its story. In that story, not too long ago divorced single mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) strikes to the fictional Southern California city of Santa Carla, “the murder capital of the world,” the movie tells us, with her teenage sons, Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim). The displaced household strikes in with Lucy’s dad, an eccentric taxidermist recognized solely as Grandpa.

Picture: Warner Bros./Everett Assortment

As they settle into the city, which seems to consist primarily of a densely trafficked seaside boardwalk, Lucy will get a job (and a possible boyfriend) at a video rental retailer, whereas Michael and Sam search new associates — Michael’s comes within the type of a bunch of younger vampires, whereas Sam bonds with comedian e-book retailer geeks Edgar (Corey Feldman) and Alan Frog (Jamison Newlander). When Michael falls for Star (Jami Gertz), a seductive vampire within the making and obvious companion of David, peer strain compels him to turn into a vampire himself.

Reverse Michael’s path, Sam throws in with the Frog brothers, who warn the brand new child on the town that Santa Carla’s entire murder-capital-of-the-world downside stems from a nest of vampires. The Lost Boys doesn’t shrink back from established vampire fiction with the Frog brothers; they use horror comedian books as a discipline guide to establish and kill vampires. (Refreshingly, in contrast to far too many fashionable zombie style tales, which refuse to make use of the phrase “zombie” in any respect, vampire fiction isn’t afraid of calling its monsters what they’re.)

Whereas Michael’s story of changing into bewitched by each Star and David is on the middle of the movie’s story, The Lost Boys can be Sam’s story of watching his brother slip right into a metaphorical dependancy in the course of the “just say no” period of the Reagan administration’s battle on medication. It’s additionally a narrative set throughout an period of skyrocketing divorce charges; The Lost Boys performs masterfully on the concern of watching your dad and mom cut up and the inevitable substitute father determine coming into the image.

Brooke McCarter, Kiefer Sutherland, Billy Wirth, Alex Winter in The Lost Boys

Picture: Warner Bros./Everett Assortment

Sutherland and Patric maintain The Lost Boys collectively as rivals ostensibly competing for Star. As David, Sutherland channels Billy Idol as a spiky trickster, making Michael hallucinate that he’s consuming worms and maggots — when, in actuality, he’s consuming Chinese language takeout — earlier than David presents him with a style of real vampire’s blood. As Michael, Patric performs it each cool and disaffected, but additionally earnest in his love for Star and frightened of his new vampire powers. There are robust set-pieces involving the 2 male leads, together with a second the place David and his vampire gang persuade Michael to hang around beneath a transferring prepare, compelling Michael to let go and embrace his means to fly. It’s the film’s strongest allusion to its inspiration, J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Regardless of robust performances and nice character twists, The Lost Boys rushes towards its ending in clumsy and unsatisfying methods. Dianne Wiest’s Lucy has too little to do outdoors of reacting to the boys within the movie, and Grandpa appears to have way more happening than the movie reveals. Its 98-minute run time wanted somewhat extra time to breathe.

However The Lost Boys, very similar to ’80s kid-heroism films E.T. the Additional-Terrestrial and The Goonies, is about its younger individuals. As an oft-campy time capsule of ’80s-era hopes and fears, it’s going to by no means get outdated.

The Lost Boys is at present streaming on Max.

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