The first film in my third match-up in the first round of the 80s US Bracket is a cult classic, although I’m still struggling with why this is a classic of any sort!
Screenplay By: Jeffrey Boam, Janice Fischer & James Jeremias
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
I have, over the years, had many people tell me that The Lost Boys is a fantastic movie. I must now ask those people what movie they were watching, or better yet what substances they were on while watching said movie. Actually, that’s too harsh, The Lost Boys just didn’t work for me, there’s no need for me to be snotty about it. It is a cult classic and many people do love it. I wish I could say the same, but I spent the majority of The Lost Boys wondering why I should care about what was happening on my screen and the rest of the time I was wondering just how homoerotic Joel Schumacher could get in a film without people noticing?
There are certainly elements to The Lost Boys that I feel were interesting and could have helped to form a good film with a competent guiding hand and a well written script to bolster them. The Peter Pan correlation is interesting, as is the idea of the vampires as allegories of wasted youth dealing with the cultural divide that existed in the 1980’s. Unfortunately Schumacher, never does anything with any of these ideas. Schumacher doesn’t do anything period, and one has to wonder what mark he meant to leave on The Lost Boys. The writing isn’t great either and the writers squander all kinds of interesting avenues, but I believe the director is most responsible for what we see on screen and thus I place much of the blame for my dislike of The Lost Boys on the shoulders of Schumacher.
My biggest complaint against The Lost Boys would have to be its inability to make me care. It’s a film that can’t decide what it wants to be, it spends a good chunk of its run time attempting to be a serious vampire film, creating a dense and foggy atmosphere. Then out of nowhere it turns into a schlocky B movie that is interested more in being a comedy than anything else, and at other times it is an ineffective family drama. And that family is what I am referencing when I talk about the inability of The Lost Boys to make me care. Schumacher tries for these dramatic beats, beats that are never earned. Michael is supposedly flying off the deep end, but we are never really shown this, we are simply expected to accept that he has been losing touch with his mother. But then we find out that it has only been a day since the beginning of the film, when he was all hunky dory with mommy. That is a leap in logic I couldn’t take and I could never quite justify it in my logic addled brain.
For those of you who do like The Lost Boys and view it as a cult classic, more power to you. I wanted to like it, and I tried, searching for things to like about the film at every turn. But, I can’t sit here and lie to you just to make you happy. Well, I could, but then how would you ever be able to trust another review I published? I can’t join you in championing this “cult classic,” in fact I’m going to do the exact opposite and warn all others off of The Lost Boys, it’s a waste of time in my estimation and a film that no one really needs to see. Even if it is running rampant with boatloads of homoeroticism, and trust me, everyone needs more of that in their lives.