Home Alone (1990)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Diabolical and hilarious.

Let me ask you a question. When it comes to Christmas films, what are the best Christmas films that you can possibly think of? Without even limiting the number of films you can choose, I’m willing to bet that there’s no more than maybe ten. I’m talking about ratings above 90% in your books. Makes me wonder in way, why that is. Why do we have so few iconic Christmas films? You ask me, it’s because most of them are too similar to the other, too predictable, and filled with Holiday cheese, and you know, the works. It’s not as if they’re bad, per se, but forgettable might be a more appropriate definition. Home Alone is one of the best Christmas films you will ever have the opportunity to see. I know, they’ve stretched it out to five films, but the first two are the ones that are truly iconic and a must-see.

Most of you know this story by heart as I do, but if you don’t, Uncle Dave is here for you. Kevin McCallister has a really expansive family, and he is often treated poorly. It goes to the point where he wishes he never has to see his family ever again. Well, he should have been careful what he wished for, because he got just that when they forgot all about him when they left for Paris the next morning. Home alone, Kevin has fun playing around in the house, shopping, and ordering pizza. Outside, however, lurks two menacing house robbers that have their eyes on Kevin’s house. Back in Paris, Kevin’s mom tries hard to make arrangements to return to her son. While his family is away, Kevin gets ready for a home invasion.

As I sat here watching the flick, it was impossible not to note how incredibly nostalgic and iconic each and every scene was. I had to ask myself, was the film really that great anymore, or is it just the fact that I’ve seen it ten billion times already, making it a part of my life that I’ve taught myself to love? I can’t really be sure, but I’m pretty sure it is that good. When thinking of a modern audience, I can’t see why they wouldn’t like it, really. There is so much about the film to really love, starting with Macaulay Culkin.

Oh, Macaulay, before your life turned to crap, you were America’s favorite star. I am pretty sure I’ve seen you in every movie when you were younger including both Home Alone films, My Girl, Richie Rich, and various videos with Michael Jackson. You were the greatest because you had some of the best on-screen chemistry that any kid has ever had…and that still remains true to this day. Sure, you’ve been in a few well-known flicks, but the role of Kevin McCallister shines brightest, as this is probably the most iconic film you’ve ever done.

This is also one of the best Christmas films, because it somehow feels like it has that classic Christmas magic without having Christmas magic as a plot element. The film has real soul, baby. Apart from having Christmas music play over and over in the film, you got characters that are just a tad over-the-top, but in the most hilarious of ways. It all fits into the theme of Christmas well.

Beyond the theme of Christmas, you just got a plot that’s unbelievably loveable. Some smart, sarcastic, kid who takes on a couple of dumb home-robbers with little traps that, while a bit unbelievable, are still iconic and filled with nonstop hilarity. I liked the fact that they didn’t have any of that until the end, so we could build up on story development and not get drowned out by all of the traps. Amazingly, when you think Home Alone, it’s the end that your mind immediately shoots to. It’s amazing and unique.

The Good:
Almost everything is good in this holiday classic. Macaulay Culkin was one of the coolest kids around, and clearly one of the best child actors. This film is iconic in almost every fashion. If you only have a little time to watch Christmas movies this season, let this be one.

The Bad:
Some of those traps are a little ridiculous when you think about it. I mean, there’s no way the kid could have predicted every single move the robbers made, and the stuff on the ground is hilarious, but they couldn’t have missed a ground half-covered in toys, it’s just impossible. Here’s a big one, these guys are career criminals who go house-to-house robbing them…why are they so fixated on this one house. I understand that the family is rich, but that puny “kid” who is home alone saw you earlier in cop uniform and can identify you. You’d literally have to kill him to get away with it. Just saying.

The Random:
You know the old guy that Kevin is afraid of next door? The guy with the shovel? Well Buzz said his nickname was the South Bend Shovel Slayer, which is actually really funny, because I’m from South Bend, and I swear I’ve seen a guy that looks identical to the old man in my town.

Memorable Quote:

Harry: We’ll go thru the back. Maybe the kid will let us in, you never know.

Marv: Yeah. He’s a kid. Kids are stupid.

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