Forget Twilight. Top 80’s flick The Lost Boys single-handedly made vampires cool more than twenty years before the pale-faced Cullens arrived on the scene, becoming a cult classic loved by generations.
Sam (the late Corey Haim) and Michael (Jason Patric) arrive in Santa Carla with a suitable sense of trepidation. Ominously referred to as ‘the murder capital of the world’, the small town poses a life of infinite boredom for the teens. That is until, of course, they’re captivated by the hustle of the beach fair and its inhabitants. While Sam enjoys the comic book selection, Michael finds himself faced with the worst case of peer pressure ever. After hippily-named Star catches his eye he soon finds himself goaded by fresh-faced Kiefer Sutherland and his bouffant-haired cronies. Soon Santa Carla’s gaiety is replaced with blood and Michael’s reflection is fast disappearing whilst his thirst for blood is only curtailed by Sam’s dog. To top Sam’s worries off not only have they moved in with their taxidermist Grandpa, his mother seems to have taken a fancy to a creepy man…
The glitzy garishness of the 80’s is juxtaposed brilliantly by the film’s gothic elements. The sinister soundtrack is interspersed with brooding tracks whilst the film’s theme, Gerard McMann’s Cry Little Sister, is one of the most memorable of the decade. Director Joel Schumacher’s overhead shots are used to great effect and provide the film with an overarching sense of uneasiness.
The casting is nigh-on flawless. Whilst Dianne Wiest perfects the role of the unsuspecting Mum, Corey Feldman, who, arguably, doesn’t get enough screen time, stars as one half of the film’s vamp hunter duo. The preparations undertaken for the climatic finale are both believable and fun whilst the ending itself allows for some vampires to meet grizzly ends. The film effortlessly entwines its comedic elements with its scarier moments. Haim provides The Lost Boys with its light relief with his role as cute wuss. We know his brother Michael has gone to the bad when he adopts Batman’s gruff alter-ego voice (the flying outside his window might have also been a bit of a give away) but Sam’s feet stay firmly pinned to the ground, his reaction aptly being; ‘you wait til Mum finds out’. Kiefer opts for teeth over later incarnation Bauer’s guns and provides the film with a scarily imposing villain.
Featuring some iconic moments (we had nightmares about noodles turning into worms when we first saw the film, too) as well as some top notch one liners (‘it smells like someone died’), The Lost Boys is an 80’s classic. With a stonking soundtrack to boot, the film opened the door for a whole generation of vamp-themed movies and tv shows. Just be prepared for the eerie chant ‘join us’ to ring in your ears after watching…
Best performance: Corey Haim
Best song: Cry Little Sister