The Lost Boys (1987)

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"One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach. All the damn vampires."

The Lost Boys is a 1987 American horror comedy film directed by Joel Schumacher, starring Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Kiefer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Edward Herrmann, Alex Winter, Jamison Newlander, and Barnard Hughes. The title is a reference to the Lost Boys in J. M. Barrie's stories about Peter Pan and Neverland, who, like the vampires, never grow up.

Summary

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Why It Rocks

  1. A very original horror film plotline.
  2. David is an intimidating, unpredictable antagonist with his "Evil is Cool" attitude and bloody thirsty vampire form.
  3. Terrifying and memorable scenes that are very well-executed.
  4. It spawned two sequels and a franchise.
  5. Wonderful cinematography that goes well for the late 1980s.
  6. It is one of the few times Joel Schumacher has shown amazing skills as a director.
  7. Likable and interesting characters, such as the main characters, Michael Emerson, along his older brother, Sam.
  8. Brilliant acting, mainly from Corey Haim and Jason Patric, who play the main characters Sam and Michael Emerson, and Kiefer Sutherland who plays the evil, terrifying main antagonist, David.
  9. The behavior of the vampire characters are very creepy and suspenseful making them look even more intimidating then they already are.
  10. The film also has a fair share of some funny and/or action-packed moments, such as the scene where Michael is about to attack Sam, only for their dog, Nanook, to run up and attack him.

Reception

Box office

The Lost Boys opened at #2 during its opening weekend, with a domestic gross of over $5.2 million. It went on to gross a domestic total of over $32.2 million against an $8.5 million budget.

Critical response

Critical reception was generally positive. Roger Ebert gave the movie two-and-a-half out of four stars, praising the cinematography and "a cast that's good right down the line," but ultimately describing Lost Boys as a triumph of style over substance and "an ambitious entertainment that starts out well but ends up selling its soul." Caryn James of The New York Times called Dianne Wiest's character a "dopey mom" and Barnard Hughes's character "a caricature of a feisty old Grandpa." She found the film more of a comedy than a horror and the finale "funny". Elaine Showalter comments that "the film brilliantly portrays vampirism as a metaphor for the kind of mythic male bonding that resists growing up, commitment, especially marriage."

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film maintains a rating of 74%. with the critical consensus "Flawed but eminently watchable, Joel Schumacher's teen vampire thriller blends horror, humor, and plenty of visual style with standout performances from a cast full of young 1980s stars." On Metacritic it has a rating of 63/100. It won a Saturn Award for Best Horror Film in 1987.

Cultural influence

The mythographer A. Asbjørn Jøn has commented on the way that the influence of The Lost Boys has helped shift popular culture depictions of vampires since its release. The film is often credited with bringing a more youthful appeal to the vampire genre by making the vampires themselves sexy and young. This in turn would inspire subsequent films like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The scene in which David transforms noodles into worms was directly referenced in the 2014 vampire mockumentary film What We Do in the Shadows. The film inspired the song of the same name by the Finnish gothic rock band The 69 Eyes.