I’d say Near Dark was the A-grade movie and The Lost Boys the B (I’d say B+)-grade one, myself.
Near Dark has a lot going for it. Like, you say this like it’s a bad thing:
That’s like, the point! The whole deal with Near Dark was that it was expanding the whole vampire genre, doing a very distinct and very American take on it. These aren’t posh vampire, or ancient vampires, these are just some scoundrels. It’s got a sort of realist element to it as well.
It’s got a lot of other assets as well - it’s well-directed and has truly great music courtesy of Tangerine Dream.
The Lost Boys is a much wilder take on a similar theme. It’s a cool movie but it’s very much a movie, and it’s got a sort of inherent ridiculousness that almost approaches that of a musical. It’s fine to like it better of course, but I feel like you largely missed the point of Near Dark, and no mention of the music? Damn. Near Dark was also the more influential of the two on later vampire movies in the long term, and Kathryn Bigelow’s first solo director movie.
Talking of Kathryn Bigelow movies with dark in the name, I watched Zero Dark Thirty myself.
It’s a strange-ass movie. It’s basically about this friendless, obsessed CIA agent (who didn’t even got to college, somehow, apparently that’s a thing), who is recruited in the wake of 9/11, and a lot of the movie initially is just another CIA agent brutally torturing people whilst she watches. Then they try not torturing them which gets them a little further, but then she becomes obsessed with this courier for Osama Bin Laden and there are ton of timeskips as she pursues various leads, screams at people like a psychopath, and generally behaves in a lunatic, obsessive manner. It’s unclear how we’re supposed to feel about this - some of the other CIA agents are sympathetic, some think she’s a psychotic bully (she certainly is a bully). She temporarily gets a friend in the form of a particularly broadly-acted CIA agent played by a frankly miscast Jennifer Ehle, but that ends poorly (the other agent gets blown up, and it was entirely the agent’s own fault, and I dunno we’re supposed to feel sorry for her, but I sure as shit did not - she got a whole bunch of people killed because she was a big fucking idiot who despite being long-serving, didn’t want to follow simple procedures). The big problem with the movie is that the main character, Maya, is not in any way sympathetic. She’s heartless, she’s obsessive, she’s amoral, she’s extremely unpleasant to people. She’s basically Captain Ahab, which I’m sure is no accident, but without the personal connection to the whale. It’s like, if Ahab had just HEARD about a whale that killed a bunch of people. That story wouldn’t work. Even if it killed a bunch of people at a port Ahab lived in or something. Still doesn’t work. Ironically, the torture-y CIA agent is much more rounded as a person and more sympathetic, despite only being in the film about 1/4 as much. People are nice to her for no clear reason, too (realistically, I guess because the character looks like Jessica Chastain, though she looks borderline undead in a lot of the harsh lighting, which again, I don’t think is an accident), which makes her shitty treatment of others seem even less okay.
There’s a lot of stuff in the movie it’s just hard to know what to do with - like, it doesn’t seem like the director is endorsing it, but it’s like, “fuck this character” - and the whole thing seems like in 100 years, people will use this movie as an example of how psychotic and evil the US was. I mean, as a good example, she’s come to talk to the spec ops guys who will actually do the killing, and she immediately shits on them, telling them she didn’t want them, she wanted to drop a bomb on the building. A building that, at this point, we know contains a whole bunch of children and several women and only possibly Osama, who would all be killed. She’s genuinely vexed that she has to send these guys in to more selectively murder people, because her bosses won’t let her just kill a whole a bunch of women and kids in the hopes that OBL is there and somehow identifiable after having a bigass bomb dropped on him.
When it finally gets to the assassination of OBL (or whatever you want to call it), the people who did it are not really presented as impressive or heroic, though they clearly think they are, and Bigelow directed Point Break, so knows how to make that kind of scene incredibly exciting. They seem more like a bunch of thugs and murderously-inclined yahoos, who break into a house, kill a bunch of people in front of some kids (including at least a couple of unarmed women), manage to crash a secret helicopter, nearly start murdering an entire neighbourhood full of people, and narrowly avoid getting attacked (rightly) by the Pakistani airforce. (Not spoiler-blocking widely known historical fact lol)
And the film basically ends with the main character alone and weeping (not in a happy way), I guess because she realizes she just spent ages 19-31 or whatever chasing down and killing a dude (seemingly more for revenge than because he’s actually behind ongoing stuff and “needs to be stopped”), via completely unethical means and now he’s dead, what’s next for her? She’s got no friends, no family, no education, she can’t tell people she did it, her interpersonal skills are weak as hell, so I guess life as a CIA spinster awaits? I am supposed to feel sorry for a psycho who wanted to drop a bomb on some kids? I dunno. It’s unclear. The movie could be read as a sort of nigh-cheerful account of all this, or as a subtle but quite serious criticism of the entire post-9/11 deal. The torture is shown to be pointless. Almost all of what the US does in the movie is shown as pointless and cruel. Only bribery and manipulation, together with technology, gets them anywhere.
There’s also one minor factual oddity with the movie though because they claim the semi-fake vaccination program didn’t achieve anything, but it was actually reported by CIA sources as being pivotal in convincing people that the raid could go ahead, because they ID’d some people in the compound as being very closely related to OBL as a result of it (which was notable given he was a Saudi noble, not Pakistani). I suspect this is a matter of the US trying to downplay that whole angle though because it was particularly hideously unethical as it damaged people’s trust in vaccines in Pakistan and other countries, and largely sticking to what the US had openly admitted - though they had a lot of semi-secret details thanks to an ill-advised lecture on the raid given at an awards dinner, where the lecture-giver apparently didn’t realize civilians and journalists were present.