The Lost Boys (1984)

There are literally thousands of vampire films out there. In the sea of bloodsucker tales, it is truly a special occurrence when one stands above the crowd. Stepping away from any genre at all, it’s even rarer when a confluence of director and script produces something that is so perfectly blended to their sensibilities and style, it is the very definition of true movie magic. It requires everyone within a massive production to be on their game and simpatico with the director’s vision. The Lost Boys emerged in 1987 as one such rarity.

"This was Joel Schumacher at the top of his game. He delivered a bold and confident picture that is distinctly his."

Joel Schumacher took a script that was, by many accounts, The Little Rascals with teeth and created a standout of the genre. Richard Donner had been attached but, after wowing with the Goonies a couple of years before, felt that doing it would feel derivative. He offered it to Joel, who quickly transformed it from vampire kids to vampire bikers. Adolescents becoming bloodsuckers allegorically gave the film sex appeal and an instant universal appreciation. He cast some of the hottest up and coming actors of the day; many who would become A-listers. Everything Schumacher chose, from the performers to the production design to the music created a lightning in a bottle moment at the movies. It’s distinctly Schumacher at his finest and could never be replicated.

Recent divorcee Lucy drives her two teenaged boys, Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) into Santa Carla, the sign stating it to be ‘the murder capital of the world’, to begin afresh. Soon, after they arrive they start to discover why. Mom gets a job at Max’s (Edward Hermann) video store, Sam befriends a couple of Stallone wannabes, the Frog brothers, from the comic shop (Corey Feldman and Jamison Newlander) who believe in monsters and Michael follows a gorgeous young woman named Star (Jami Gertz), only to discover she’s attached to a group of Biker’s led by the mysterious David (Kiefer Sutherland). Michael, unable to resist the lure of Star, is pulled into the biker gang life and after drinking from some weird wine bottle David offers him, starts to change in personality and temperament.

Turns out David and his gang are a tad older than they look, by a couple of hundred years, and Star wasn’t lying when she warned Michael he was drinking blood from David’s freaky bottle. Michael is truly becoming one of the gang and the urge for him to kill is growing. Sam discovers his brother’s attitude is a little more than teen angst and enlists the aide of the Frog brothers to try and turn him away from his impending doom. They believe if they can destroy the head vampire, the likes of Michael and Star will return to normal. All the while, Mom is trying to date her boss and is pissed at the both of them. They hatch a plan to kill David, assuming he’s the one they want. They’re dangerously wrong.The Lost Boys (1984)

As far as plot goes, it’s fairly simple. But in it’s simplicity, Schumacher allows for characterisation to win the day. Every character is given utility within the story and everyone of them is memorable, even usually thankless parts like the mom and grandpa. Even some of the featured extras stick in your mind. Show someone from the eighties a picture of the saxophone player and they’ll instantly know what he’s from.

What wins the day here is the tight script and impeccable performances from each and every actor. The script isn’t without contrivance but is confident in it’s tone and it’s execution, blending very organic humour and horror seamlessly. The cast are all pitch perfect. This film cemented the careers of many of them, started the love affair with filmgoers of the time with ‘the two Corey’s’ and flung the likes of Sutherland into superstardom. All well deserved to boot. Haim shows serious comedic charisma and Sutherland intensity and wisdom beyond his years (rather fitting for a vampire).

Production design is bold, flamboyant (even for the 1980s) and memorable. The music is choked with hits of the day from the likes of INXS and Gerard McMahon. Greg Cannom’s vampire make-up is first rate and a complete re-invention of well-trodden (even back then) preconceptions, deciding to move where the fangs would be in the mouth and balance the actor’s good looks with subtle prosthesis.

This was Joel Schumacher at the top of his game. He delivered a bold and confident picture that is distinctly his. Even Richard Donner stated that no one could have done it like he did. He brought all his personality and style to the movie and was able to assemble a team that executed it perfectly. Much like John Landis’s An American Werewolf in London, there have been attempts to replicate it but they always fall flat on their face. The Lost Boys is a rare gem, unbeatable and of its time. It is without a doubt one of this reviewer’s favourite films from the 80s. Even after 35 years it still holds up as a damn good night at the movies. No sequel or remake will ever hold a candle to its brilliance.

4/5 stars


The Lost Boys (1984)

4k details divider

35th Anniversary Edition / 4K Ultra HD + Blu-ray + Digital HD

Home Video Distributor: Warner Bros.
Available on Blu-ray
- September 20, 2022
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 2.0; German: Dolby Digital 2.0; Italian: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0; Spanish: Dolby Digital 2.0
Discs: 4K Ultra HD;  Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set
Region Encoding: 4K region-free; blu-ray locked to Region A


This native 2160 4K scan of the 35mm camera negative is, in a word: sumptuous. Lost Boys is one of those movies, set at night, full of rim lighting and deep bold colours that could show poor transfer like a set of dog’s balls. I’m happy to report that Warner’s have delivered this film as close to reference as they ever have. The copious night scenes are rich and inky, displaying detail probably never seen since the theatres, showing no signs of crush or light bleed. The elaborate costumes of the vampires truly leap of the screen and show a detail and appreciation for the wardrobe department that defies belief. The 80s came replete with a lot of neon and pastel, beautifully rendered here and aided spectacularly by the HDR10 enhancements. The finale holds a set filled with a lot of red—a monochromatic nightmare for subtlety—but all the different shades are replicated perfectly. Absolutely the best this film has ever looked on home media.


I’m no audiophile but it sounds to me no different than the 2008 Blu-ray release which was a hefty Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix. I guess it’s repurposed, as the cover and my blu ray player say this is now a DTS-HD 5.1 track. Greedily, this disappointed me. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great mix and sounds terrific (just as it did 14 years ago) but a new 4K transfer that meets current technology should be accompanied by a 7.1 remix with heightened atmospherics and directionality overhead speakers can benefit from. It’s a terrific mix, with the rears getting a good work out and centre and sub crisp and clear. Just wanted that little bit more.



  • Audio Commentary with director Joel Schumacher

Special Features:

As always with me, if the studios choose to simply reprint long standing features then I ain’t gonna write about em. I suppose with streaming fast becoming the dominant way in which folk digest their flicks, the golden age of physical media is over and the studios won’t pour the coin into manufacturing fresh/contemporary documentaries/interviews. Since Joel Schumacher has sadly now passed, I find it a little sad that didn’t at least honour him, as well as the other members of the cast and crew no longer with us . The 2008 blu ray features are copious and terrific and included in this set on a blu ray disc version of the film (with the new transfer). The 4K is, as most UHD discs, region free. There’s also a digital copy and as this is an American release, comes with a slipcase. It’s a shame it displays a truly shit house new cover art. What the hell were they thinking? The Lost Boys poster should have been used or, failing that, something more than a half arsed graphic with a shit font.

  • The Lost Boys: A Retrospective

  • Inside the Vampire's Cave

  • A Director's Vision

    • Comedy vs. Horror

    • Fresh Blood: A New Look At Vampires

    • The Lost Boys Sequel?

  • Vamping Out: The Undead Creations of Greg Cannom

  • Haimster & Feldog: The Story of the 2 Coreys

  • Multi-Angle Video Commentary for selected scenes

  • Corey Haim

    • Corey Feldman

    • Jamison Newlander

  • A World of Vampires

  • The Lost Scenes

  • "Lost in the Shadows" Music Video

  • Theatrical Trailer

4k rating divider

  Movie 4/5 stars
  Video  5/5 stars
  Audio 4/5 stars
  Extras 3/5 stars

Composite Blu-ray Grade

4/5 stars

Film Details

The Lost Boys (1984)

MPAA Rating: R.
97 mins
: Joel Schumacher
Jeffrey Boam
Jason Patric; Corey Haim; Dianne Wiest
: Horror | Comedy
Being wild is in their Blood.
Memorable Movie Quote: "No. I just like to read the TV Guide. Read the TV Guide, you don't need a TV."
Theatrical Distributor:
Warner Bros.
Official Site:
Release Date:
July 31, 1987
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
September 20, 2022.
Synopsis: When a single mother and her two sons move to the sleepy seaside California town of Santa Carla, they discover much more than they anticipated in this visually stunning blend of hip humor, horror and rock 'n' roll about the most compelling group of contemporary vampires ever to put fang to vein.


The Lost Boys (1984)