Obviously, this is an essential slice of vampire culture. It epitomised 80s America, youth culture, and a massive shift in the way we saw the metaphorical figure of the vampire.
In my MA dissertation, I argued that the Lost Boys were the epitome of the psychosocial moratorium*, and that the vampire itself had become a metaphor for the lost youth. The figure of the vampire is representative of the psychosocial moratorium. They live on the edges of society, are unbound by rules and are neither adult or child.
A lot of criticism has focused on the political background to the film, and the homosexual interpretations of the vampire. For example, the Reagan years and the fear of AIDS was continuously linked to the fear of ‘infection’ in Lost Boys- Michael was ‘tricked’ into becoming a ‘half vampire’, which conveniently meant he had the opportunity to choose whether or not he wanted to make the full transition. The cynic in me says that this could be seen as a sly dig at ‘choosing’ sexuality/the idea of homosexuality as a lifestyle choice. Nevertheless, the vampire was moving from being a mere spectacle (as in the Hammer Horror films) to being an important cultural marker which reflects our fears. Their ability to assimilate in society, as in the Lost Boys (where they were seen as an anarchic adolescent crew) marks the beginning of the vampires who infringe upon us and claim aspects of our identity.
*The psychosocial moratorium something Eriksson discusses as being the result of a (usually adolescent) identity crisis. It is the individual’s way of dealing with this lack of identity, and a way of ‘taking a break’ from society (being absolved of social responsibilities and expectations, ‘suspending’ their identity) and being able to find a role/place where they belong. The way the PM presents itself differs from generation to generation. I would argue that today University is the biggest example of a PM; it has become a rite of passage for many young people, and delays the gaining of employment, housing, and is a time where the individual forms their identity.