The Lost Boys
dir. Schumacher
Opens Fri July 9
Clinton Street Theater

In The Lost Boys, an entertaining '80s vampire film, brothers Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim) move with their mother (Dianne Wiest) to Santa Carla, CA, only to find the place is crawling with blood-sucking, skater-mulletted ne'er-do-wells (i.e. Kiefer Sutherland). Half the movie looks like it was filmed at Burning Man, and there are beach scenes where the skulls of punks are juicily, mercilessly peeled off like ripe scabs. Moving on.

It's poignant to see Corey Haim and Corey Feldman (as a 'Nam-obsessed teen vampire slayer) interacting on celluloid with such unburdened livelihood. In 1987, two years before Haim checked into rehab for the first time, the Coreys' magic wasn't saddled with the heft of their fame. As a result, there's a real joie de vivre here; when the Coreys exchange lines, we glimpse nothing but the awesome lightness of youth.

In 2004, as in 1987, the presence of the Coreys distracts from the film's intention. Sure, it's disappointing when vampy Kiefer Sutherland chortles in his uncreative, cardboard-evil "mwahah." But what we're really wondering is, "What could have sent boys as sweet and powdered as the Coreys rambling brakeless down the path of drug addiction?" Haim, as comics-loving protagonist Sam, evokes the most empathy, with his range of mischievous faces and bratty, valley-boy finesse. He imbues Sam with endearing naivete--especially considering that Sam will, at some point after all this vampire shit is over, have to come out of a deep closet. (Evidence of Sam's impending gayness: elaborate attention to fashion, even though he's from Phoenix; giant, sexually suggestive poster of a half-shirted Rob Lowe, hanging at bed-level; no less than three moments when he looks like he may tongue-kiss Jason Patric's character; Mondrian bathrobe). Meanwhile, Feldman reprises his role as a stoic misfit unhinged by war, grousing and evil-eyeing with the same determination he showed in Stand By Me and Friday the 13th.

The Lost Boys is a fine moment for the Coreys; indeed, it was their final filmic exchange unmarred by pharmaceuticals and "imports." Later Corey films, such as Dream a Little Dream and License to Drive, were sad--not just for their failings as cinema, but for the washed-out, drained interchange between what were then Hollywood's most tangibly drug-addicted adolescents. It is heartbreaking.