The brat pack for spooky kids
So many of our late 80’s / early 90’s horror favorites are really just the decaying remains of the (more mainstream) brat pack crap. And I really say that with the utmost love and respect for 80’s horror.
In the past, I’ve gone on and on (like some idiot school girl myself) about how much I adore The Lost Boys. And while I can write objectively about it’s cheesy, audience-pleasing roots, it’s got more under the hood than just a creepifide version of that sappy, heart-string-tugging, feel-good nonsense that fueled the brat pack flicks.
There’s actually this weird, meta evolution within 80’s films that can literally follow kids from their adventuring, childhood Goonies days through one of the stereotypes laid out in your standard, brat packy, high school flick: were you the bad girl? You might just find yourself in The Lost Boys (or Heathers). Were you the good girl? Well fuck, you’re probably going to find yourself smack dab in the midst of Sixteen Candles or Say Anything or one of those cheerful high school flicks.
Putting ranty asides aside, I want to jump forward a bit here to the decline of the brat pack and the last great step in the meta evolution on those spooky kids: Flatliners.
Follow those “bad kids” out of Heathers and The Lost Boys and you’ll end up in med school with a group of kids who think killing themselves (to see “what’s on the other side”) and then reviving themselves to chat about it is somehow a good idea.
Far be it from me to judge anyone else’s choice of extracurricular activities but, how in the hell did anyone so technically smart come to this conclusion?! What a bunch of fucking morons. This fact lands Flatliners dead in the middle of another blog about "bad science" in movies; med school or not, these folks make some of the absolute dumbest decisions a scientist could ever make.
Add to that the fact that the “traumas” they relive / must forgive themselves for are painfully juvenile (I bullied some kid in high school. My daddy had a drug problem. Something about a kid falling out of tree…) What the hell is the message of this stupid movie? “The past is past. Get the fuck over it.” Or maybe, “All kids are fucking screwed up jerks, say you’re sorry and it’ll be okay."
Plot idiocies aside, this movie was clearly meant to draw a crowd: a little bit of a horror flick and a lot bit cast with “young, hip, up-and comers” of the time. Writing this blog as I am (without the benefit of the internet) I can’t look up how much money it made, but I’m pretty sure it fell (at least) into the “moderately successful” category.
And to be completely honest, I’m not really surprised by that fact. Flatliners is fairly charming when you look at it as the under appreciated love child of The Breakfast Club and The Lost Boys.
You can watch the Flatliners trailer here: