Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Your Daily Scare: The Lost Boys

"Just wait until mom finds out!" 

There are probably better horror movies to come out of the 1980s (Halloween, The Thing) but there may not be a more 1980s movie to come out of the 1980s than The Lost Boys, a movie that entertains on parallel tracks: as a fun-as-hell horror-comedy, and as an artifact of hair spray, mullets and absurd shirts.

The Lost Boys is about two brothers (Jason Patric and Corey Haim) who move with their recently divorced mother (Dianne Wiest) to her father's home in a fictional California town with a surprisingly high murder rate. Patric immediately falls in with a crowd of toughs, led by Kiefer Sutherland, who haunt the old-fashioned boardwalk. Their numbers include Alex Winter from the Bill & Ted series, who sports a towering hairstyle that dares you to laugh at it. They're vampires. And pretty soon Patric and Haim have a very personal reason to defeat them.

If you go into this film with an eye for ridiculous '80s shit, it will offer delight after delight: Haim's outfits -- one of which is a multicolored shirt covered with a sports jacket David Byrne would reject as "too big" -- are a clear highlight, but there's also macho posturing, a soundtrack for the ages, and Jami Gertz.

It's fun, too. The vampire attacks are scary and cannily directed by Joel Schumacher. (One attack is filmed largely in close-up, which makes it claustrophobic and unnerving.) The final attack is sharply shot, edited and paced. And there are some moments of real visual beauty, like a shot that sails away from a group of vampires on motorcycles until their headlights blend into a single light.

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