The Lost Boys
Dir. Joel Schumacher (1987)
A newly divorced mom moves her two boys to Santa Carla in search of a new life. Instead, they find a gang of teenaged vampires.
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
The 80’s was chock full of cheesy horror movies that would ultimately become cult classics, from the original Friday the 13th to Gremlins. There was no better vampire movie in the entire decade, however, than The Lost Boys. Sorry Near Dark fans: The Lost Boys was the perfect blend of comedy and horror, delivering some creepy-as-hell vampires and the eternal goodness that was The Coreys™. Director Joel Schumacher took his action chops and turned them into a full-on horror without losing his penchant for crowd-pleasing cinema.
The cast of The Lost Boys is fantastic, with hard-hitters like Kiefer Sutherland (24) and Jason Patric (Rush) as a pair of vampiric elder teens and Coreys Haim and Feldman as their young nemeses. Head vampire Max (Grant Herrmann) is running the show, but it is David (Sutherland) and his gang of biker vamps who are the real draw of the film, including an early appearance by Alex Winter (Bill, from Bill & Ted). Young me had special feelings stirring with the appearance of Star (Jami Gertz), and I’m 100% sure that more than a few young dudes found out that they weren’t entirely straight after seeing leather-clad David riding his bike at breakneck speed. The 80’s was all about sexual awakenings, after all, and The Lost Boys had no shortage of those moments even if it was an erstwhile “kids movie.”
I mean, I get it…
As a short aside, it has always fascinated me how the people making kids movies in the 80’s just straight up didn’t give a fuck about them kids. Mama Fratelli scared the shit out of me in Goonies, and Gremlins is scary as hell for a Christmas movie. Legend has one of the scariest depictions of the devil in all of media, played wonderfully by Tim Curry. And now we have The Lost Boys, which, to be fair, didn’t really bill itself as a kids movie, but the presence of the young teenage vampire hunters was what drew me to the film when I was a wee lad. Thankfully, once the vampire start battling the hunters, things get gory and intense enough to stand up on a rewatch almost three decades later.
While Corey Feldman’s Edgar and Jamison Newlander’s Alan were all the comedy that young me needed, adult me is in love with Barnard Hughes’ Grandpa. He delivers the most memorable line in the movie right at the end, and his carefree lifestyle is exactly how I want to live when I’m old. The Lost Boys is also just a stellar vampire movie as well. It’s got all of the tropes while breaking new ground in a few places, and the storytelling device of the Frog Brothers is a wonderful way to introduce the younger fans to all of the vampiric lore. You know, I may even be willing to say that The Lost Boys is my favorite vampire movie ever made. I’m not big into vampires in general, and while there have been a few that have been interesting and unique enough to make me feel they were worth watching, The Lost Boys is the perfect film to scratch that vampire itch without being too dreadfully gothic or unreasonably sparkly. It’s a great vampire flick to watch during Halloween, and it just oozes 80’s.
Who this movie is for: Vampire movie fans; 80’s horror lovers; Oddly pale bikers
Bottom line: Funny, charming, and with a gory-as-hell finale, The Lost Boys is the best teen vampire movie ever made. Filled with great performances by iconic actors, this is one that is worth revisiting even all these years later. It’s a cult classic with a huge following, and it’s a perfect addition to your Halloween lineup. If you haven’t seen it, you owe it to yourself to watch it this spooky season.