We’ve Got To Talk about The Lost Boys

M and I are on this kick of introducing each other to movies we saw as kids that the other hasn’t seen before. Dirty Dancing. The Hunt for Red October. Die Hard. Last Action Hero. War Games. Some hold up better than others, some don’t. They’re a way to pass the time in lock-down while Cobb County’s infection rate climbs. 

Last night, M picked The Lost Boys and holy Christ do I have THOUGHTS. 

  • I am here for 80’s era Kiefer Sutherland. Like, OMG he can GET IT. Both M and I agreed that he was a good looking man. Striking. You squares can have your Jason Patrics and his pouty lips and brooding eyes, but I’d climb me some Kiefer. Today’s Kiefer, eh, not so much. But Keifer of 30-years ago is fine.
  • I’m not just perving out on Mr. Sutherland, but he had/has some serious acting chops. Sure, his father is Donald Sutherland, but not all children of actors are great actors. He had the advantages and privileges to become a great actor, of course, and that shows because he’s surrounded by absolute mediocrity and amateurity. For example, the children (the Coreys, for example) are acting like, well, children in a kids adventure movie. The older teenagers (Jason Patric, Jamie Gertz, the other vampires) are acting like they’re in a teen melodrama. And the adults (Dianne Wiest, Ed Herrmann) are toning it down. Keifer Sutherland is the only one taking his role seriously even though he’s playing a teenage vampire in goofy makeup and lurking in the dark. He has ample opportunity to chew scenery, but doesn’t. He’s in a movie all by himself. 
  • This movie isn’t great. It’s got some strange comic book-style editing choices. The pacing is distractingly slow at the beginning and then incredibly rushed at the end, which is a surprise for a 90-minute movie. Aside from the aforementioned acting ranges, I also didn’t really see a parallel to the Lost Boys from Peter Pan. At first I thought they were doing something with Michael, as Michael was Wendy’s brother from the story, but there was no Wendy or John. Maybe Max was Captain Hook, but the Lost Boys went to war with Captain Hook? So perhaps if there was a metaphor it was lost along the way?
  • That being said, I can see why this movie resonates with so many people. It’s LGBT+ coding is strong. It’s 1980’s LGBT coding is especially strong, too. Like, let me count the ways:
    • Michael hangs out with David’s crowd of boys
    • Michael shares some of David’s blood
    • David tells Michael, hey, you’re one of us, Michael
    • Michael is at first confused and repulsed and goes, No I’m not! I’m totally into your girlfriend over there! I’m not like you at all!
    • David goes, Oh, what, you mean my sister? The girl with whom you have zero chemistry and are clearly using to get closer to me at every chance? Um, sure. Keep telling yourself that bruh, but you’re a total vampire
    • Michael’s little brother Sam finds out he’s a, ahem, “vampire” and freaks out, and Michael runs the gamut of lies, excuses, and then reassuring: No! I’m not a vampire, I swear! Don’t tell Mom! I’m not floating, I don’t actually know what’s happening to me right now! Ok, fine, I’m a vampire, but I’m not, you know, a real vampire, Sam. I’m only a half-vampire. I would never hurt you and turn you into a vampire! And Sam goes, I don’t know. Let me call my super vampire-phobic friends who know how to vampire-bash and have all this vampire-bashing literature they’ve given me to indoctrinate me against vampires and have them come over to kill your vampire leader. 
    • Then there’s a big confrontation at Michael and Sam’s house. David’s there and David tells Michael, You know, Michael, I don’t want to fight you. I want to be with you. I want you to accept your true nature as a vampire and stop fighting it. I showed you who you are. And Michael’s like, No! I am not a vampire! I haven’t bitten anyone yet so that makes me NOT a vampire! And David goes, Um, yeah, that’s not how it works. You can’t suppress your urges and call yourself a non-vampire. But Michael kills him anyway. 
    • But the movie still isn’t over! The head “vampire” is a very tall, Focus-on-the-Family type square who tells Sam and Michael’s mother, You know, if these kids only had a mother to take care of them, it would keep my AND their vampire tendencies in check. So we should get married, right? And then the grandfather drives a car through the living room and kills him and says there are too many “vampires” in Santa Carla. 

And then the movie ends with Michael “changed back” to being a non-vampire and then probably marrying the girl “vampire” and they go off to have a terribly unfulfilling marriage where both have to suppress their inner vampire urges for the rest of their lives. Or, at least until their youngest goes off to college. 

So yes, I liked this movie. Good? No. But there’s something for everyone.