For those of us of a certain age 'The Lost Boys' defined a decade and redefined a genre, initially a low key release release the film quickly gained and audience predominantly through word of mouth and had a sucessful theater run followed by cult status on VHS. This VHS success being helped by it's release just as studios started to realise the potential market for affordable movies to buy rather than rent. However, unlike the majority of movies, the enthusiasm for this movie has never gone away and like a good rock album it has passed down to the next generation(s) first on DVD and now Blu Ray.
It's hard to believe that it's been two decades since I first saw this film, Keifer Sutherland looks unbelievably young, and Cory Fieldman's wardrobe has looks jarringly outdated, but other than that it has aged surprisingly well thanks to a tight script, engaging story and a well balanced and talented cast, this film fit's the 'Buffy' generation like a glove (a testiment to it's influance on the newer show), but doesn't feel like the plot has become hackneyed or over imitated.
Picture quality varies, the impression is that this is due to a decision to shoot in lower lighting conditions with high sensitivity (and hence noisy) film stock rather than print or transfer quality issues as noise and grain appear and dissappear between edits in darker scenes, when the print is good though the picture quality is amazing, one particular shot of sunset over the Santa Carla Boardwalk (immediately before the Lost Boys attack the house) takes your breath away, unfortunately the variaton in quality tends to draw attention to the poorer sections in a way that was less obvious on DVD or even VHS with their attendant lower expectations.
On the audio side, the 5.1 soundtrack is well realised with environmental accoustics such as the echos of the gang's cave like lair reproduced very effectively, the soundtrack did strike me as being centered firmly on the screen, for example in the scene where motorcycles surround the house and the gang can be heard calling Michaels name I would have liked more emphisis on the rear speakers to draw the viewer into the scene, at the end of this scene when all noise suddenly stops the clarity of the soundtrack is revealed in the perfectly reproduced sound of dry leaves blowing across the yard. The rock and roll soundtrack of this film is one of it's strong points and this is handled well with a robust yet well balanced sound which never threatens to overwelm the action.
Special features are good including several deleated screens and a retrospective with Joel Schumacher and Richard Donner.
In conclusion, this film is a must have, if you don't already own it the buy the Blu Ray disk, no question, but if you already have the DVD you need to consider that is not a film that benefits hugely from the improved picture quality, for the reasons discussed above, although for the commited fan or completeist the special features will make a compelling argument to buy.