TBT – Home Alone (1990)

childhood favourite, Christmas, film, fucking awesome, fucking stupid, fucking weird, review, TBT

I slept terribly last night. I was at work for 7 this morning so was awake before half 5. However, no matter how hard I tried, I found myself still wide awake at 1 am. So today I’ve been like a fucking zombie trying not to let exhaustion get to me. It also meant that, despite my plan to come home and write this post as soon as possible, I spent my time napping. So, in a moment of complete honesty, I’m not going to put my normal review hat on for this post. Of course, it doesn’t really matter I suppose. Any Christmas film that I could discuss for TBT are ones that everyone knows. So, instead, I want to discuss several points that have been bugging me about Home Alone over the years. I, like everyone else around my age, loved this film growing up and I’ll still watch it every year. I mean it is a remarkably funny festive film that, despite the absurdity of the premise, a terrible script and more than a few cringey stops in schmaltz town, is an essential Christmas watch. Let’s be hoenst, we love this film because of nostalgia. It reminds us of being children who all wanted to be the situation that Kevin found himself. But, we’re not kids anymore. With every year that passes, I find myself worrying more and more about what I’m watching. So I want to address some points.

  • Why are Kevin’s family such massive dicks?

Even before you consider the fact that they left their child at home whilst they flew to Paris, the McCallister’s are an awful family. I mean, sure, Kevin is a whiney brat but they all verbally abuse him and leave him in the attic. Why? Because someone else ate all his cheese pizza. Buzz was being a huge knob and nobody even challenges him. No, it’s all the 8 year old’s fault. I mean his awful uncle straight up calls him a “jerk” because he accidentally got covered in Pepsi that Kevin’s dad dropped. What we see of the McCallister’s in the beginning of the film isn’t usual family banter. The kind of gentle ribbing that you can get away with when you really love someone. It’s straight up bullying. I’m not surprised Kevin wanted his family to disappear. 

  • How the hell does nobody notice he’s missing?
Yes, we see the scene where Kevin’s dad accidentally throws away his boarding pass (still not entirely sure how he couldn’t tell what he was picking up) but that still doesn’t explain how, in the time between them leaving the house to them getting on the plane, nobody in the whole massive group managed to see that Kevin was missing. I mean it’s fucking obvious no matter how late you are. These parents are incompetent. 
  • Why, after a frantic mother informed them a child was home alone, do the police just accept that everything’s okay?
This is the biggest dick move in the entire movie. A mother has called the police from France to explain that her son is alone in the house and the police officer who attends the scene leaves after two minutes. He barely even checks the house. He knows the kid is 8 but still believes he’d answer the door to him. It’s insane. How does someone so fucking stupid become a police officer? Why isn’t he a little more worried about a child being alone in a house? 
  • Why are the Wet Bandits so interested in the McCallister’s house?
Okay, so the house is big but it’s not as if it’s full of priceless antiques and shit. The McCallisters clearly have a shitload of money if they’re able to afford the house and fly that many people to Paris at Christmas. But, it’s also not as if the house is made up to look that great. Nobody is showcasing any fancy jewels or whatever. It’s just a big house. That is weirdly full of mannequins and potted plants. I’d hardly call it a thief’s dream score. 
  • Why does Kevin’s neighbour willingly act so fucking shifty?
I get that the guy is probably sick of his neighbours spreading awful rumours about him killing his family but that doesn’t mean he needs to act like a he did it. It’s as if he purposefully goes out of his way to freak Kevin out. Everything he does is super weird and exactly the kind of thing that a killer would do.
  • Do we not need to worry that Kevin is actually mentally unhinged?
Kevin is a worrying child and it probably has something to do with his years of neglect and familial abuse. He shows signs of being a sociopath in the wake of the spilt milk incident and, as he spends more time on his own, shows signs of a dwindling mental state. He talks to himself all the fucking time without any concern. He quickly turns to a life of crime. He takes pleasure in terrorising people. He scares the poor pizza delivery boy to death for not reason but amusement. Then, he takes everyday household items and turns them into super effective weapons. I mean, outside of the non-violent film world, Kevin could have killed the burglars. Yes, they’re bad guys but they hadn’t done anything to warrant that kind of physical and emotional scarring. He’s clearly had violent tendencies for a while now. Someone needs to send Kevin to see a doctor before he murders his family in their beds.
  • Seriously, was Harry going to eat his fucking fingers?
Still, it’s not as if the thieves don’t also have a nasty side. When Harry and Marv finally catch Kevin, Harry threatens to eat Kevin’s fingers. That’s fucked up. They went from being petty criminals to being fucking cannibals in the space of a few minutes. Not cool. 

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