A group of ill-equipped kids is forced to come together and battle unthinkable evil. It’s a sentence that describes two films that were released within two weeks of each other 35 years ago: Joel Schumacher’s The Lost Boys on July 31, 1987, and Fred Dekker’s The Monster Squad on August 14, 1987.
Being only seven years old at the time, I didn’t see either film in the theater when they were released, but in the decades since, each has been hugely formative to me in many ways. I love The Lost Boys for its hip, 1980s essence; comic-book quips; and A-list actors. I love The Monster Squad for its adoration of the monster genre, spot-on casting, and whip-smart sense of cool.
But which do I love more? I honestly couldn’t say. Maybe it’s The Lost Boys because it’s on TV and referenced so much more often. Maybe it’s The Monster Squad because of how I watched the film regain cultural relevance firsthand. Either way, it’s time to settle the score. I’m putting them up against each other, toe to toe, trying to figure out my ultimate favorite: The Lost Boys or The Monster Squad?