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The Lost Boys (1987)

The Lost Boys is one of the few films I know that manages to balance both horror and adventure flawlessly, culminating in one of the most praised and highly regarded Vampire movies in existence. This is an annual watch for me and as someone who doesn't particularly care too much for the vampire subgenre, this is in my top 10 films of all time and quite high up in that list too. Everything about this film is drenched in 80's nostalgia, from the fashion, the soundtrack to the casting. A decade of cinema that has produced some of the greatest films known to date and is still to this day one of the more popularised on screen. This film perfectly encapsulates an era in which film sets required time and effort to make and not just something produced on a computer in post-production. Nothing puts this on display better than the cave where David and the rest of the vampires live, looking very reminiscent of the closing act from The Goonies. It's clear all of this has been done painstakingly by hand and each item carefully placed in a specific location to beautifully compliment the cinematography. Another of the stand out locations for me has to be Grampa's house. I always remembered wanting to own a house like his one day. There is something very enchanting and calming about a log cabin surrounded by forestry. One thing I noticed from my latest rewatch is how minimal the blood and gore is for an R rated horror. That's not to say that it isn't there and when it is used it is done by the bucket load. However, with the exception of the the camp fire scene and closing act at Grampa's house, we don't see much other than POV camera work from the perspective of the vampires and then a cut to black. I do think this is a great way to build expectations though, because when we do finally start to see some of the later kill scenes the pay off is much more rewarding than it would have been showing similar scenes throughout. For me this film sets the standard for how vampires should be in cinema. It shows that there is no need for over the top creature feature effects, with the transformation of the vampires themselves being subtle yet providing optimal effect, unlike a lot of what we see in films today. There is no over the top makeup like in From Dusk Till Dawn, just simple contact lenses, obligatory vampire teeth and a modest use of prosthetics to heighten the bone structure on the face. This to me has a much more realistic and frightening impact, maybe something other vampire films should take serious note of. I do wish we had seen more flying scenes. I understand there are cinematic limitations but the final fight between Micheal and David showed us how incredible this could have been if explored in other scenes too. It's difficult to talk about The Lost Boys without discussing the soundtrack that accompanies it. As soon as you hear one of the tracks, it’s impossible not be transported back to the film. It’s a real highlight, boasting greats such as Gerard McMann - ‘Cry Little Sister’, Echo And The Bunnymen - ‘People Are Strange (which to me is the best version of that song), INXS - ‘Good Times’ and the acclaimed shirtless saxophone playing man that is Tim Capello with ‘I Still Believe’. I genuinely love the soundtrack just as much as I love the film itself and one of the few CD's that I still own. I would say that the success of this film lies hugely on the performances of the cast. Had these roles gone to other actors I don't think it would have had quite the same impact it has on pop culture today. I couldn't possibly imagine anyone else taking on the role of David other than Kiefer Sutherland and what he does with that character. Taking the villain of the story and making him one of the most memorable and recognisable of the past 40 years is nothing short of legendary. As iconic as David is, for me the stand out is Corey Haim as Sam. The whole interaction between him and Michael (played by Jason Patrick) as he discovers he is becoming a vampire, and his first interaction with the Frog brothers are completely hilarious and filled with some of the most quotable and memorable moments in the entire film. The rest of the supporting cast are all outstanding with greats such as Corey Feldman, Alex Winter and Dianne Wiest who plays one of the most mumsiest mums to ever grace the screen. I remember seeing this quite young and majorly under appreciating the level of quality film making on display in front of me. Now, as an adult, it has become one of those rare films that I have encountered in my life that will be a consistent rewatch for me. No matter the mood, this film always works for me. I think this and Terminator 2: Judgement Day are the only two films I can say that about. Nothing else to say except I would never hesitate to recommend this film.



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