User Rating: Excellent
Pros:performances by Sutherland & Patric, good modern portrayal of vampires
Cons:quality of special effects has to be taken in context of the times
The Bottom Line: A fun vampire film that intertwines comedy and suspense.
Plot Details: This opinion reveals major details about the movie's plot.
Recommend this product?
At the time this movie was released in 1987, the cast were virtual unknowns. I can remember going to see it in the theater and coming out having been frightened out of my wits - but it had a charming, comic quality to it as well. I also developed a fondness for Kiefer Sutherland which carries through to today. Guess I had a thing for "bad boys".
Sam and Michael Emerson (Corey Haim and Jason Partic) are the new kids in town as their mom (Dianne Wiest) and Dad have just divorced and her mother returns to live in her hometown with her somewhat eccentric father (Barnard Hughes). They return to a house that is filled with creations from grandpa's hobby - he's a taxidermist.
Like many teenagers, Michael yearns to "belong". The group he chooses to align with is led by an apparent biker named David (Sutherland). What lured Michael to them is a beautiful girl who caught his eye (Jamie Gertz).
Sam, meanwhile finds himself at the mercy of the "Frog brothers", Edgar and Alan (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander). They are a couple of kids who seem to be headed straight for the X-Files division of the FBI as they see vampires and conspiracies at every corner.
The movie has something of a message about the desire to "belong" and the extent to which a teenager will go to achieve that feeling. However, it is a more entertaining film when you just ignore that message.
Michael soon finds out that David and Co. are a lot more than they initially seem, but by that time it is very hard for him to back out. The rest of the movie involves a suspense-filled tug-of-war as Michael, Star, and a young boy named Laddie struggle to try and keep the vampires from claiming them forever.
This was one of the first movies that took the vampire out of the traditional brooding man in a castle wearing a cape uttering "I vant to suck your blood...". It gave them an edge and a place in modern times before Interview With the Vampire really caught on. I actually do like The Lost Boys better than the film of Interview With the Vampire.
There were scenes that had me jumping out of my seat and clutching my boyfriend's arm when we were in the theater. The script and direction does a fine job keeping you on the edge of your seat and in suspense until the very end. It moves along at a good pace and there were no parts that felt like they were dragging. The film does hold up well on repeated views - the story can still give me a good laugh all these years later.
Most of the comic lines are given to one of the two Frog brothers. Along with Grandpa, they provide the majority of comic relief and keep the film from taking itself too seriously. Barnard Hughes plays the part perfectly - grouchy and ornery balanced with a nice share of kookiness.
Kiefer Sutherland is absolutely amazing as David. He conveys all the menacing with just a stare or a look. There is a scene where they are hanging under a train bridge which is focused on their faces and he manages to convey all he needs to with several expressions. His timing is impeccable at various times with all of the other actors. That he and Patric play off of each other so well is notable, especially since there was no animosity between them at the time (3 years later Julia Roberts would leave him several days before their impending wedding to run off with Patric).
Jason Patric has the Jim Morrison look going for him here. His performance here will convince you that he could have probably played that part in the movie The Doors better than Val Kilmer. He is brooding and moody like many teenagers, but he also brings a different edge to Michael as well.
The soundtrack for the movie is filled some great songs. There's a great cover of The Doors' People are Strange by Echo and the Bunnymen as well as a fantastic number by INXS and Jimmy Barnes Good Time Tonight.
When my daughter was first getting into the horror genre, this was one of the first films I allowed her to watch. Though rated R, it was something I thought she could handle and I was right - she enjoyed it quite a bit. If your child is getting to an age where they enjoy horror and you are thinking of letting them see an R rated film, this one is fairly mild except for the language.
Joel Schumacher directed the flick and it was a step out of his usual parameters. He managed to do a fine job and pulled out some great performances.
Other Kiefer Sutherland movie reviews:
Brotherhood of Justice ~ Chicago Joe and the Showgirl ~ The Cowboy Way ~ Dark City ~ Dead Heat ~ Desert Saints ~ An Eye for an Eye ~ A Few Good Men ~ Ground Control ~ The Killing Time ~ Picking Up the Pieces ~ The Right Temptation ~ Ring of Fire ~ The Three Musketeers
24: Season One
My thanks to Mom2TyZick for hosting this terrific Friday the 13th Write Off. Please check out other reviews by : artbyjude, brandon_m, d_fienberg, lambchops, matt2050, Mike_Bracken, Mom2TyZick, peterbryan ,Rbradford, remnjava, sampo24, shadow8, SusiDee34, tbthorn, Vormancian, xxxxer
© 2002 Patti Aliventi
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Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Fit for Friday Evening
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older