Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

Lost Boys: The Tribe, or Lost Boys 2. Call it what you like, but don’t expect too much if you decide to watch it.

After recently re-living my teen-hood and reviewing the original Lost Boys film, I felt duty bound to watch this one too.
My expectations were low. Years ago a sequel would have been a dream come true. But as the original cast became old, wayward and weird looking (or in some cases, too successful to ever be involved with such an idea) I was ready to leave the dream in a dark coffin somewhere, with a stake through its heart.

Shockingly, as the Lost Tribe illuminated my TV screen I was encapsulated by it.
Was it my teen self re-emerging, or was it that the film wasn’t too bad after all?

Chris and Nicole (and actor and actress with familiar faces but no notable achievements) are brother and sister. After something terrible happened to their parents, they move out to Luna Bay, a place with a few probelms: crime, unemplyoment and vampires.
After securing shack-like accommodation from their aunt, the two get straight in there, socialising with the local youngsters.
Chris is a retired surfer, so manages to hook-up entry to a particularly cool party and before they know it, they’re chugging beer and making out with other whooping party-goers. The usual thing.

However, the party host is a vampire, the leader of a gang who like to surf, ride bikes and bite necks. When he takes a shine to Nicole, it takes little time for her to drink his blood from a bottle (a la the Lost Boys) and start the transformation into a bloodsucker.

One of the most interesting things about this film is its links to the first film. I say ‘interesting’ as some of these links work and are good, and some are just plain bad.

First off, the head of the vampire gang is played by none other that Kieffer Sutherland’s step-brother (Angus Sutherland). Which would be pretty cool if he wasn’t so unenthusiastic in the role.
Second Corey Feldman, one of the original Frog Brothers also features heavily. Fortunately for the film, this works quite well as 1, he doesn’t seem to have changed at all (which does freak me out a bit) and 2, makes the job nice and easy for him – as he just has to act to the same standard that he did as a 15 year-old – which he manages to do.

The soundtrack even features a re-visited and slightly heavier version of the ‘Cry Little Sister’ track that seemed to fit the first film so well.

On the downbuylostboyslinkside though, the film then seems to get a little carried away with the links to the first, with Feldman using old lines and mannerisms; certain chains of events looking all too familiar; and worst of all, a really random ending, which without giving too much away features Corey Haim and seems to be some kind of super-weak lead to the potential for a Lost Boys 3. Pray that it doesn’t happen.

As is usually the case, 20 plus years have improved the special effects, which is a good thing. However, I wasn’t too sure that I liked the new super-powers that the vampires have – perhaps they evolved?
It gets on my nerves when producers change the rules of what vampires/zombies/monsters can do just because they now have the CGI capabilities to make it happen.
And strangely, although the faces look scarier, and the effects seem more ‘finished’, the deaths of the vampires are un-impressive and boring. Nowhere near as good as the explosions of flesh in part 1.

The fight scenes are pretty boring, and the acting is pretty mediocre. The film lacks the comedy, simple twists and charisma that ther first had.
In trying to retain the core of the cult original, those involved seem to have lost site of the bigger picture, resulting in a standard teen vampire flick. Something that there is an abundance of. No wonder this one went straight to DVD.

The flashes of potential such as the idea of Chris intentionally becoming a vampire to fight the bad guys on a level field are dashed by the lack of imagination and depth. Particular mention should be given to the completely unenthusiatic performance in the final vampire vs vampire battle.
Both actors looked as bored as I was while watching it.

So to sum up. This film is only worth seeing if you are a lover of the first and want to experience part 2 out of curiosity. You’ll have high hopes at times, but ultimately end up left with a bad, garlic taste in your mouth.

One cool thing is that you get Lost Tribe bundled in for free when you buy the Lost Boys, so it’s worth getting it that way.

Additional film information: Lost Boys: The Tribe (2008)

Movie Rating: ★½☆☆☆ 

Trailer:

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