When I mentioned to my coworkers that I was watching The Lost Boys as part of my 31 Days of Halloween event, they were eager to proclaim their love of the film since their adolescence. I was already excited about it because of its reference in What We Do in the Shadows so you know I was looking forward to the maggots and worms scene in particular.
The Lost Boys is a cult classic vampire film written by Janice Fischer & James Jeremias and Jeffrey Boam and directed by Joel Schumacher. This 1987 hit stars some names you will most likely recognize such as Kiefer Sutherland (David), Corey Haim (Sam), Dianne Wiest (Lucy), and Corey Feldman (Edgar Frog) just to name a few. The film is incredibly well acted by this group of all-stars, aided of course by the strength of the characters from the script. It’s not just David and the other vampires who are interesting, it’s everyone, and that’s easily one of the biggest strengths of the film. Some of my favorite moments are actually the little things Jason Patric (Michael) and Corey Haim do as brothers just in the background of scenes.
In case you haven’t seen the film, the gist of it goes like this. Brothers, Michael and Sam, move with their newly divorced mother to a small town in California known as “the murder capital of the world.” And for good reason, apparently. Michael soon finds himself running with a small group of powerful vampires who try to lure him into becoming a full vampire like the rest of them. The film has an overall good pace to it and some fun twists and turns that lead into a really well done third act that sees our heroes trying to kill David and his closest goons before they can kill Michael and his family.
Overall, the vampire aspects of the film are really interesting. The makeup work is great, of course, but the rules are similarly intriguing. There’s not only vampires but half-vampires and I can’t say that I’ve ever seen that really in a film before. I appreciate its attempts at showing you this through Michael’s half reflection in the mirror and his ability to go into the sunlight during the day but he shows some severe signs of fatigue that don’t go unnoticed by those around him. The ability to hide the bloodlust or, at least, be able to fight it off to avoid becoming a full-fledged vampire is really interesting too. Usually, it’s just….feed or die and no in-between. That there could be vampires who will live forever and not age and not feed is an intriguing concept and I have to wonder if that’s touched on at all in the sequels. My assumption is probably not but you never know!
The film has some really great visual metaphors going for it that I appreciated. The stark contrast at the very beginning of the film with David and his group of vampires walking freely around the carousel in their black leather outfits, contrasted by the very still men and women in much softer 80s clothing sends a fascinating message to the viewer. David and his goons are always moving through time and space while the rest of the world lies in wait like helpless victims. Their stark visual contrast also reinforces the concept they are something entirely other from the rest and yet no one seems to question this. Natalie wants me to mention this further drives home the concept that this 1980s film is responding to the return to conservative values while trying so hard to reach its outsider niche of the horror film genres. It’s an interesting read of the film, to say the least especially when considering the children are the driving forces of the film. They’re hunting the vampires, they’re willing to do what needs to be done, whereas others seem to just accept what’s happening in the town and all they can do is put up the missing posters of the men and women who have been taken/eaten by David and his vampire cronies.
Overall, I had a really great time watching this film. It’s got a clear aesthetic to it that is all its own and there’s truly only one film quite like The Lost Boys. I highly recommend it if you haven’t already seen it. What an intriguing vampire film!