It’s not Christmas without the Home Alone movies

A graphic of the McCallister house surrounded by characters from the Home Alone movies CREDIT: DEMARCUS MILLER-DUNCAN
Revisit the first two Home Alone movies and find out why one reporter can't have Christmas without them.

During the early 2000s, my father brought this 1990 Christmas classic into my life. Little did he know what he was in for when he introduced me to Kevin McCallister and the Wet Bandits. Every time we sat in front of the television to watch a movie during the holidays, it was always Home Alone or Home Alone 2 that I requested. Some would think that we’d get sick of it, but the laughter and holiday spirit that these films brought to our household was unmatched. Not a year goes by that eight-year-old Macaulay Culkin isn’t on our screen!

There are six Home Alone movies that were produced, but the first two that Culkin acts in are my personal favourites.

Home Alone (1990)

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This movie was the start of a comedic and a heart-felt Christmas franchise. It begins showcasing the McCallister family in all its glory with them preparing for a holiday in Paris. The house is as chaotic as you can imagine but disaster truly strikes when Kevin becomes annoyed with one of his many siblings, causing an upsetting situation. Kevin, being chastised by his mother and sent to a room in the house that no one likes to sleep in, makes a wish that he wasn’t a part of his family anymore. To an extent, Kevin believed his wish came true, when he woke up in the morning to an empty house and the cars still parked in the garage.

What he didn’t know was that his family had all left for the holiday and taken two taxis just to fit everyone in. Unfortunately, the stress of travelling with so many people caused poor Kevin to be left behind and forgotten. It wasn’t until mid-flight that his mother shouts out in disbelief and fear that her eight-year-old son is at home all alone. The rest of the movie highlights his mother’s attempt to return to him while facing the struggle of getting a ticket home during the airport’s busiest time. Most importantly, the introduction of the Wet Bandits, who are a pair of professional thieves, is what really brings the laughter to the film. The two criminals, Harry and Marv, have no idea the schemes that a little boy like Kevin is capable of. Thinking they could break into the house when the family was on holiday leads them into an adventure and a half when they realized that someone is still home.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

After a movie as iconic as the Home Alone, some would wonder, what next? But this time, Kevin ups his game with his schemes that cause even more laughter in my opinion.

In this sequel, Kevin isn’t left at his house, but rather gets lost in the airport when his family is travelling to Florida for a holiday. Excited to put his batteries into his camcorder, he stops while his family runs to their gate. He thinks if he just keeps his eyes on his father’s jacket that he won’t lose them. Coincidentally, there is a man with the same jacket as his father getting onto another flight, and Kevin mistakes this gentleman for his father. When the plane lands and Kevin doesn’t see anyone in his family leave the plane, he discovers he is in the Big Apple and not in Florida.

Luckily, Kevin has his hands on his father’s credit card and is able to stay at a hotel during this time. When exploring the city, he encounters his two favourite people—can you guess who? Harry and Marv! Over-hearing that the Wet Bandits have big plans to rob a children’s store called Duncan’s, Kevin feels it is his place to yet again put these two knuckleheads to the test. His scheming and pranks range from spilling beads on the floor to cause the Wet Bandits to trip, to slight electrocution. Once again, Kevin finds a way to torment these criminals and keep viewers laughing.

Both films have something in common other than a child being left behind and two criminals that can make you laugh until your stomach hurts. There’s more than one message behind each of these movies.

In the first movie, there’s the addition of Old Man Marley, who is often recognized as the old man with the shovel from across the street of the McCallister residence. His touching story of people being fearful of him when he was just a regular old guy, is especially touching when he has a reconnection with his family at the end of the movie. Similarly, in the second movie there is the addition of The Pigeon Lady, who also has a great role to play in Kevin’s time spent in New York.

These two movies will hopefully never leave my television screen when it comes to Christmas movies and the holiday season. This is easily one set of Christmas movies that I hope my children one day will get to love and cherish the same way I do.