Monday Movie Retrospective

July 31, 2017

Vampire Smile

Do you like your horror with a side of comedy? Do you enjoy horrific comedy? I sure do, so I am happy to write this week’s retrospective on 1987’s “The Lost Boys“.

“Peter Pan” this is not!

Equal parts style and substance, “The Lost Boys” is a great, classic movie. There are themes of community versus individuality, belonging both for and against safety, “other” versus integration, and family versus friends. The characters are likable and relate-able. The mother is suitably sweet and the kids are suitably snarky without being irritable. This is a horrific vampire movie with the appropriate gore, but also the appropriate cleverness. At times, the vampires are brutal. At others, they play mind games.

This is a pretty good date movie as well, accessible by men and women, with strong characters of either sex. Likewise, because the younger kids are relate-able and enjoyable, this movie also crosses generational lines. They have fun adventures.

The whole movie is shot and edited well. It feels mostly tight, and the quiet moments are interrupted by either truly exciting or truly terrifying moments.

The tension builds and is palpable, and then there is a wonderful release. It’s just so much fun to sit through.

The older brother, Michael, is played with excellent teenage angst by Jason Patric. The younger brother, Sam, is played with fun-loving appeal by the late Corey Haim. Their loving, single mother is played sweetly and vulnerably by Dianne Wiest. The mother’s father, the boys’ grandfather is played to grumpy perfection by the late stage actor, Barnard Hughes. Max is a possible potential father figure who greets the mother to town, played with great dignity by the late Ed Hermann.

The younger brother, Sam, is befriended at a comic book store by a pair of vampire-hunting brothers. There is Edgar, the eager one, played by Corey Feldman. Then there is the slightly more cautious and quiet Alan, played by Jamison Newlander. Jami Gertz plays the potential love interest for the older brother. She is a relatively quiet and sheltered girl named “Star”. Star is the sister of the main bad guy of this movie, David, played equally fun and menacing by the terrifically subdued Kiefer Sutherland.

David is the ringleader for a gang of fun-loving, trouble-making, rabble-rousing teenagers, essentially a biker gang, rounded out by fun characters played by Brooke McCarter, Billy Wirth, and the most excellent Alex Winter.

I can easily give this movie two fangs up.