Part horror, part comedy, THE LOST BOYS is a vampire thriller that brings some interesting twists to the genre, but is nearly defeated by director Joel Schumacher's heavy-handed efforts to bring an MTV-like sensibility to the traditionally gothic material. Recently divorced Lucy (Dianne

Wiest) packs up her belongings and, along with teenaged sons Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Corey Haim), moves in with her eccentric father (Barnard Hughes), who lives in the Northern California town of Santa Cruz. Rumored to be the "Murder Capital of the World," the town is dominated by an old

amusement park. Michael, the older of the boys, becomes infatuated with a beautiful girl (Jami Gertz) who introduces him to a strange gang of teen bikers led by David (Kiefer Sutherland). As it turns out, the teens are vampires and Michael becomes one of them.

THE LOST BOYS adds an intriguing dimension to the traditional vampire legend by exploring the material through teenagers' eyes. Instead of tragic Bela Lugosi-like vampires, screenwriters Janice Fischer, James Jeremias, and Jeffrey Boam present vampires who seem to want to be hellish creatures. The

script utilizes the age-old teenage themes of alienation, anger, and rebellion, the "I won't grow up" appeal of Peter Pan (hence the title), and the fervent desire to be cool, and takes them to a fantastic extreme. Unfortunately, THE LOST BOYS discards most of its thematic elements in favor of

glitzy visuals and a slam-bang climax highly derivative of both FRIGHT NIGHT and a made-for-TV movie, SALEM'S LOT. Despite its flaws, however, the film is an interesting addition to vampire cinema.