The following review was written by Ultimate Rabbit correspondent, Tony Farinella.
“The Lost Boys” falls into the category of a great horror film I have never seen before until now. With its release on 4K and Halloween a little over a month away, I couldn’t wait to take a bite into this movie (see what I did there?). Vampires, zombies and werewolves are familiar creatures used in horror films. The thing which separates the good films from the bad are two things: the characters and the story. Are we invested in the characters? Is there a compelling story? In the case of “The Lost Boys,” the answer is a resounding yes. I loved this film, and even though I’m late to the party in watching it, it’s better late than never.
Lucy (Dianne Wiest) and her two sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) have relocated to Santa Carla, California following her divorce. They end up living with her eccentric, oddball father played brilliantly by Barnard Hughes, and he doesn’t want anyone to touch his root beer or his Oreos. He also spends a lot of time dabbling in taxidermy and often gives Sam some unwanted presents. Sam is also flanked by his loyal dog Nanook, an Alaskan Malamute. Sam is doing his best to adjust to this beach town by catching up on some comic books. He ends up getting to know the Frog Brothers, Edgar and Allan, played by Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander, who know a lot about vampires and comic books. Their performances are comedy gold in this film, and they are their own little “Strangers Things” group here.
Michael ends up falling for a young lady named Star, played by Jami Gertz. She hangs around a biker gang led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). Something is clearly unusual and odd about them, but Michael is hoping that if they accept him, he can get to know Star. Lucy ends up getting a job at the local video store which is owned by Max (Edward Herrmann). Max is a dorky putz, but he means well and seems genuinely interested in getting to know Lucy. This in spite of the fact that their dates usually always end up in disaster because Sam is convinced something is off with Michael. Sam wants to protect Michael because that’s his brother, but he’s not entirely happy with how he’s acting lately. Michael is sleeping all the time and coming home very late now that he has his new friends.
There is plenty to enjoy with “The Lost Boys,” but the key ingredient is the cast. The actors really sell this material with just the right amount of humor and terror. Director Joel Schumacher also knows how to get the most out of every single scene. This film is 97 minutes and frankly, it is the perfect running time for a film like this. We get to know the characters, their dilemma unfolds, and it ends with a bang, literally and figuratively speaking. I really enjoyed the fact the filmmakers went with an R rating. They build up to the violence, so it really means something when the bodies start to explode and heads begin flying off. The special effects and make-up are top notch. When you add in the fact this is a 4K release, everything is enhanced to an even greater degree.
The film also doesn’t lean in too heavily with the vampire gimmick. Yes, there are characters who are vampires and there are rules to follow, but at the end of the day, it’s a film about a mother and her two sons trying to survive. Dianne Wiest, a favorite actress of mine, is perfect as the concerned but confused mother. The late Corey Haim is also top-notch here. I know I’m singling out their work, but there is not a bad performance in this film. It also helps that the atmosphere goes back and forth between day and night. It’s an atmospheric and intense flick which hits all of the right notes you would want in a film like this. I went into it not knowing what to expect, and I ended up having a big smile on my face when the credits were rolling at the end.
“The Lost Boys” is an 80’s gem which deserves to be seen on 4K. It’s one of those rare examples of a film where everything falls into place: the cast, the acting, the director, the writing, the blood and guts and the twists and turns. The comedy is done at just the right moments without being too hokey or phony. The action and violence are really turned up a notch without being too much or overdone. This is the perfect Halloween movie to pick up in time to watch for the holiday. Trust me when I tell you this: You won’t regret it, and you will love it. If you have already seen it, you will love it even more with the 4K upgrade.
* * * * out of * * * *
4K/Blu-Ray: “The Lost Boys” is being released on a two-disc 4K and Blu-ray combo pack from Warner Brothers Home Entertainment. It also comes with a digital copy of the film as well. It is rated R and has a running time of 97 minutes.
Video Info: The 4K of this film comes with stunning High Dynamic Range (HDR), and it looks incredible. As I mentioned earlier in my review, the outdoor shots of California are absolutely stunning. When the film is darker and more brooding, it switches to that tone with its color palette. This is a terrific-looking 4K, and I enjoyed taking it all in for the first time.
Audio Info: I was hoping they would have a Dolby Atmos track as the audio is good but it’s a little inconsistent at times. It comes on a DTS-HD MA: English 5.1 audio track along with Dolby Digital audio tracks in French and Spanish. Subtitles are in English, French, and Spanish.
4K UHD Disc
· Commentary by Joel Schumacher
· Commentary by Joel Schumacher
· “The Lost Boys: A Retrospective”: 24:00
· “Inside the Vampire’s Cave: A Director’s Vision”: 6:58
· “Inside the Vampire’s Cave: Comedy vs. Horror”: 4:44
· “Inside the Vampire’s Cave: Fresh Blood-A New Look at Vampires”: 4:23
· “Inside the Vampire’s Cave: The Lost Boys Sequel?”: 2:25
· “Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannon”: 14:02
· “The Return of Sam and the Frog Brothers: Haimster & Feldog-The Story of the 2 Coreys”: 4:30
· “The Return of Sam and the Frog Brothers: Multi-Angle Video Commentary by Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander”: 18:23
· The Lost Scenes: 15:16
· Lou Gramm “Lost in the Shadows” Music Video: 4:35
· Trailer: 1:26
Normally, I would complain about the fact they don’t have any new special features for the 4K here, but considering this was my first time watching the film, all of the special features were new to me. There is a commentary track with the director and plenty of lengthy special features discussing the film. Based on the quality of the movie, the 4K upgrade, and the special features, this one comes highly recommended as a day-one purchase. If you are a horror enthusiast, you owe it to yourself to watch this film at the highest quality available. As far as the film itself, there is so much to like about it. Even though the film is a vampire film, it doesn’t feel like a vampire film. I felt the vibes of It and Stranger Things mixed with a family drama. The acting is really, really good, and it’s a big reason why it’s such an effective film. The kills featured in the film are also really grisly and blood-soaked. I loved this movie! I’m really enjoying the fact that Warner Brothers Home Entertainment is going into their vault and releasing a lot of their older titles on 4K. This is a top-of-the-line upgrade with bright colors and a vivid picture. If you are like me and haven’t seen this movie, you owe it to yourself to add it to your collection.
**Disclaimer** I received a copy of this film from Warner Brothers to review for free. The opinions and statements in the review are mine and mine alone.
Excellent review – characters plus story – absolutely the key elements of a great movie. Not sure I am up to watching it – a bit too scary for me – except perhaps in a large fun group of people.