Macaulay Culkin was the shit. If there was ever a case for developing anti-growth hormones, it would be to keep him from reaching puberty. I’m sure Michael Jackson would agree. Home Alone is an awesome movie, essential viewing for any happy childhood. It’s they story of 8-year old Kevin McCallister who is accidently left home alone when his family goes to Paris for Christmas vacation. Chris Columbus directs and John Hughes produced and wrote this family favorite.
Kevin is kind of a brat, but he is picked on and excluded by his large family. He makes a wish that his family would disappear, and instead they totally forget about him and leave for an amazing vacation without him. At first he’s ok with it and has fun doing whatever he wants without anybody telling him what to do. Too bad Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, a.k.a. Harry and Marv, a.k.a. the Wet Bandits decide to loot his neighborhood, including Kevin’s house. Kevin decides that it’s time for him to man up and defend his house, and so he devises a crazy plan that uses tons of booby traps and with a little luck he disrupts their plans and saves Christmas.
John Heard and Catherine O’Hara play Kevin’s parents. They have a big family and don’t always have time for Kevin. They love him though. They have to. Catherine O’Hara is Kate McCallister, the frantic mom who would sell her soul to the Devil himself just to get back to her son. There could be a spinoff about Home Alone from her POV. She left her son home alone, she realizes it halfway to Paris, and spends the next few days bartering her way from airport to airport, bumming rides, and essentially doing whatever she can to get home. She even hangs out with John Candy and his Polka buddies.
There is an actual story, a real plot… but I think that the booby trap/house raid was thought of first, and then they built the movie around that. The booby traps are very elaborate and obviously planned out. The whole plot of leaving Kevin home alone is just an excuse to have a kid physically abuse two bad guys. The police are a joke; they don’t do anything to help Kevin. The Santa Claus knows that a little kid is all alone on Christmas Eve, just wishing for his parents to come home. He even knows his address and does nothing to help. The pizza guy thinks he got shot at, knows the address, and doesn’t report it? There are so many adults that Kevin has encounters with, and not one of them is competent enough to recognize that he needs help.
The booby trap/house raid sequence will make you laugh and squirm, especially moments like the nail going into Marv’s foot and Harry’s hand getting branded by the doorknob. I still get shivers down my spine when the Wet Bandits catch Kevin and Harry says he’s going to bite off Kevin’s fingers. It makes everything Kevin did to them justified.
Home Alone was more than a movie growing up. It was a career opportunity. Whenever I was sick or pretending to be sick, it was up to me to defend my house. I must have lived in a decent neighborhood, because I never got my chance to hurt any burglars. At least I could live my dreams through Kevin.
Critically Rated at 14/17