The Lost Boys (1987)

Genres - Horror  |   Sub-Genres - Horror Comedy, Teen Movie  |   Release Date - Jul 31, 1987 (USA)  |   Run Time - 92 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Brian J. Dillard

Few blockbusters can boast the easy charms of this delightful popcorn flick, which featured "the two Coreys" (Haim and Feldman) at the height of their popularity and set brooding Jason Patric up for endless "Why isn't he a bigger star?" feature stories. Although no fewer than five hands were involved in the screenplay, the film that emerges is a solidly cohesive effort that takes both its teen angst and its blood-n-fangs seriously even as it smirks slightly at its own cheekiness. From the deadpan antics of Grampa (Barnard Hughes) and the quirky likability of his flaky daughter, Lucy (Woody Allen favorite Dianne Wiest), to the classic "meet cute" of Star (Jamie Gertz) and Michael (Jason Patric), The Lost Boys uses standard-issue screenwriting devices to set up its vampires-in-seedy-suburbia scenario. It succeeds, however, thanks to its imaginative vampire mythos and its easy mixture of laughs and thrills. Kiefer Sutherland is actually quite menacing as the leader of the Rebel Without a Cause-style undead, while the Coreys and co-star Jamison Newlander have great fun spouting slang witticism and driving stakes through the hearts of the bloodsucking legions. The location shots of coastal Northern California punks cavorting on the boardwalk set an edgy pop-culture tone that's carried through in the music (by INXS, Echo and the Bunnymen, and composer Thomas Newman, among others) and especially in the shots of the so-hip-it-hurts vampire hangout. The real treat for horror fans, though, is the extended set piece of the climax, which includes so many inventive deaths (and killer plot twists) that it renders earlier vampire movies tame. Fans of more methodical psychological horror -- and older audiences in general -- probably won't find The Lost Boys too scintillating, but for youngsters, horror fans, and '80s survivors, it's a fun little flick that has held up remarkably well.