The Richard Donner production credit and one cast member in particular gives this movie a certain feel later on, but the eerie and evocative mood it sets before all that comes in is a strange one. Santa Carla is a dark carnival of a town, night sky lit up by fairground attractions and roller coasters and flashing lights, but outside the bright lights is a darkness. Missing posters all over the place, people out of work and homeless. There's something bad here even before you get to the goddamned vampires. Once again, we're in a weird world where vampire fiction exists alongside the actual monsters lurking and preying on people in the night, but some people in Santa Carla seem to be in the know that this is happening and believe in it. It's not treated as a existential panic like Fright Night, but just an annoyance and a constant danger. Fuck, vampires are real. That fucking sucks, I'd better be careful at night at stuff. Our new kids in town are not careful and one of them falls in with the wrong crowd.
Ah yes, Keifer Sutherland's merry band of vampire boys. The title's a cute pun here. It's both referring to Peter Pan and his merry band of boys who never grow up, and also using "lost" as a synonym for the loss of innocence. 'Cause they're immortal creatures of the night who go out murdering folks to feed on their blood. Our boy Michael here has his own fall from innocence, and the obvious metaphor is a good boy falling in with the bad crowd. Except, again, the bad crowd in this case go out every night and murder people. That's a big yikes. The movie plays with the interesting concept of half-vampires; that is, you have some vampiric traits and weaknesses but can still walk in sunlight. Only actually making your first kill turns you fully, and that's the precipice Michael is on now. That leads us to his little brother, who gets in with a duo of vampire hunters. One of them's Corey Feldman. So you got your Richard Donner/Goonies connection right there, but that's only kind of what the movie is getting at. Kind of.
The last act of the movie goes balls to the wall, with Feldman and his vampire hunter pal going into the lair of the vampires (which is one hell of a set, gotta say) and staking Alex Winter before he can travel in time in a phone booth. Right, snark aside, this shit's fucked. They're sleeping like bats and the blood pours out and all kinds of other shit, but Keifer Sutherland swears revenge. Then the movie becomes a hybrid between Goonies, Monster Squad, and Home Alone. Bearing in mind the latter had yet to come out at the time, this is impressive. The vampires come, but they get totally fucked up. I swear, the climax of this movie is rad as shit. You got vampires melting in tubs of holy water while their blood spews out of every sink and water pipe in the house, and a vampire shot through the heart with an arrow into a stereo whose HEAD FUCKING EXPLODES FROM ELECTRIC SHOCK! HOLY FUCK! The final confrontation with the real head vampire is brief but he blows up better than a shmup boss, the grandpa gets a good line about how he can't stand the goddamned vampires in this town, and that's The Lost Boys. I really liked this one. Better than Fright Night, at least. What a rad little thing. Thanks, Joel. You really were a real one.