Home Alone.

Home Alone is a comedy from 1990, directed by Chris Columbus and written and produced by John Hughes. Home Alone is not an adaption of any book.

Home Alone

Home Alone is the first of six films in the Home Alone franchise. The basic premise is that a cunning and resourceful child, who was left home alone for Christmas by accident by his family, is able to fight off a robbery of his house through setting booby traps in the house.

The film stars Macaulay Culkin, as Kevin McCallister, the child, who was left home alone for Christmas, and Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, as Harry and Marv, the buffoonish robbers known as the “Wet Bandits”.

The acting in the film is very good, with Macaulay Culkin, playing the leading role being a stand out performer. Other good performances include Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern as Harry and Marv. Kevin’s mother (played by Catherine O’Hara) also delivers a good performance.

Plot: Kevin McCallister is the youngest son of the McCallister family, who are spending Christmas is Paris. Kevin annoys the rest of the family and was sent to his room as punishment. As a result of a storm, the family overslept and in the rush, they accidently counted a neighbourhood kid, as Kevin and Kevin is left in his home for Christmas.

While Kevin is at home by himself, a pair of robbers known as the “wet bandits” started robbing vacant houses in the neighbourhood. The Wet Bandits, tried to rob the house at first, but were frightened off by a prank by Kevin.

Kevin starts to miss his family, he nearly gets knocked down by the robbers. The robbers realise that Kevin is home alone.

Kevin bobby traps the entire house, and makes the house a potential death trap for the robbers.

The traps that the robbers get into include:

  • Kevin wetting the entrances to the house, making them slippery.
  • A blow torch.
  • Kevin firing a pellet gun at Marv.
  • Kevin breaking the glass Christmas decorations and opening the window of the house to tempt the robber to walk on glass.
  • Using paint cans on a rope to hit both of the robbers directly in the head.
  • Taring the stairs on the basement and leaving a nail on one of the steps.
  • A boiling door knob.
  • Feathers, that Kevin uses a fan to stick to Harry.

There is also a secondary plot involving the McCallister family when they realise that they left Kevin home alone. It is only on the plane when they realise that Kevin is missing, Kate McCallister (Catherine O’Hara) flies back to the USA, and gets as far as Pennsylvania, she goes overland on a bus with a polka group. The family get back together for Christmas.

Villains. Harvey and Marv, known as the wet bandits are the villains of the films trying to rob houses from the neighbourhood, which the McCallisters live. They are simplistic and stupid, but the film is primarily a comedy for children. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern perform well as the wet bandits and the fact that the wet bandits are fools makes a lot of the humour of the film.

There is also a red herring character set up in the film. The next door neighbour, Marley (Robert Blossom) is the subject of rumour at the start of the film. However, when Kevin meets him, he is just a sad and isolated man, who has lost communication with his family. Kevin talks with him, and tells him that he should contact his family. Marley eventually saves Kevin from the robbers by hitting them both on the head with a shovel. By the end of the film, he was reunited by his family.

Christmas film: Home Alone is not a great film, there are plot holes and simplistic characters, but it is one of the most enjoyable Christmas films that I have seen. Christmas is a large part of the story as the MacCallister family leaves their suburb in Chicago for a vacation in Paris.

While Kevin and his family fight with each other at the start of the film, but they miss each other after a day. The importance of family and friendship is hinted in the film. On Christmas Day, the family have returned from Paris, and they are together for Christmas. It is sort of a plot convenience that the MacCallister family never hear of the Wet Bandits, and the mess left in the house over Christmas Eve.

Music: The music played by John Williams is memorable and keeps in tone with the story. The music is one of the strengths of the film. Home Alone got nominated for Best Original Score and Best Original Song (Somewhere in My Memory) in the 1990 Academy Awards.

Franchise: There are five other Home Alone films. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, has the same cast, and is basically the same story, but in a different location. It is still a fun film, but I don’t think that it is quite as good as Home Alone. Home Alone 3 came out a few years later with a different cast, and it is rated lowly on the rating sites and was nominated for a Golden Raspberry. The other three films are made for television films. The story is so outlandish, that it can only really work on a really good original film.

Is Home Alone One worth a watch? As a film, it is a funny film, which keeps the audience entertained. There are plot conveniences and simplistic characters, but it’s a comedy for children. I always try to watch it around Christmas, and while I know everything that happens, I am always entertained. As a film Three Stars.

As a Christmas Film. Five Stars.

Published by ferdiaomahony

Writer of local news and history, in the community of Mahon, Blackrock, Cork. Graduated from UCC, with a BA in History and Politics.

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