The Lost Boys Genre

Topics: Vampire

The Lost Boys by Joel Schumacher exploits some conventions of the horror genre yet also inverts others. Like in any horror film, they come with the creaking doors, intense music and desire to solve all mysteries including the unexplained and the film, The Lost Boys doesn’t fall short. This vampire filled, popcorn flick includes many of the standard features of the horror genre but also includes inverted and reversed some conventions. To start off, the most obvious aspect of the horror genre that is in this film is vampires as they are a supernatural creature.

The Vampires in the film are what you would expect; blood-sucking beasts with their sharp teeth, which sleep upside down, cast no reflection and who are afraid of sunlight. But that’s not all of it. There is an evil leader in the film, who is Max but this isn’t evident until the end of the film because he was seen as an innocent man from Lucy’s eyes which meant she was constantly defending him.

Also when he was invited over by Lucy, he made the man of the house, Michael invite him inside which in a way, hide his true identity.

The Lost Boys Max

Therefore when the Frog brothers conducted a series of tests trying to prove that he was a vampire, they all indicate that he was human. The music in the film is strange, circus like with an evil twist at times. A good example of this is at the start of the film, when the lost boys are at the carnival on a merry-go-around and there is circus music playing which slowly changes into a more sinister sound with a thump in the background because of the change of scene.

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By fading different types of music, it creates a more suspenseful mood.

Throughout the film, there is also non-diegetic and discordant music which forms dramatic effects throughout the film. As well as following some of the usual characteristics of a horror film, Schumacher inverts and reverses some conventions. The most inverted convention that stands out, is how The Lost Boys explores notions of family that include the single parent family being Lucy, the boys and the family of vampires lead by father figure Max. At all times Max appears to have his “families” interests at heart which is a paradox is some ways because we perceive vampires to be evil and not kindly.

This shows the reversal of the convention and the notions of vampires. Max also hoped to have a “fairytale” ending with the blending of his family and Lucy’s but it didn’t work out as he envisaged and this is parodied at the end of The Lost Boys. The main reversal in the film is the character of Grandpa. What everyone would perceive to be as a normal Grandpa is fairly the opposite of the character in this film. He’s a joker who drinks root beer and lives in a creepy house with dead stuffed animals.

An example of Grandpa playing jokes is when Lucy and the boys arrive at his house and he is lying on the porch pretending to be dead. This creates anticlimax which would mainly fall into the standard conventions of a horror film. Another example is at the end of the film when all the vampires are killed and Grandpa goes to the fridge to get a drink and says “Something I never could stomach about Santa Carla, all the damn vampires! ” which indicates that he knew about the vampires all along. Overall, Grandpa is an unusual character that adds plenty of humour to the film.

In this Teen vampire flick, it isn’t exactly the scariest horror movie ever made. In fact, the ridiculously over-sized 80s hairstyles on show are probably more frightening than the teeth. Come to think of it, it’s not exactly the funniest comedy you’re ever likely to come across either. But there’s just something about its 50-50 mix of the two genres of horror and comedy that just works out fantastically well. By inverting and reversing the usual conventions of the horror genre, it made this film one of a kind and a classic.

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The Lost Boys Genre. (2019, Dec 05). Retrieved from

The Lost Boys Genre
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