It’s Christmas, the time for families to be together, but not this year as 10 year old Kevin Mcallister is left home alone when his parents forget him on a mad rush to the airport. Cue capers, adventure and some family fun as Kevin learns to fend for himself.
It’s December! Hooray, almost Christmas so sod the cinema because it’s all about great, heart-warming, family friendly Christmas films and getting smashed right? As the film industry really hasn’t put out anything worthy of a festive flick this year (I refuse to see the atrocity that is Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?) let’s crack open the festive DVD collection and look back at some of our favorites… starting with Home Alone.
Growing up who didn’t fall out with their parents? As a kid I’m sure everyone had that fleeting fantasy that they could be in the house alone? Chris Columbus’ 1991 (feel old now) hit realised all those daydreams in this Christmas based tale starring Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and John Candy. Led by Culkin’s charm, the probability meter drops constantly but only to allow the more ridiculous and most comedic moments of the film to work as he sets about not only learning to wash, cook and overcome his fears but also defend his home. Most of the situations are dealt with in a decent montage leaving enough room in the time frame for all the other plot developments to occur more naturally. There’s also a fair amount of good Christmas message on the importance of family throughout with the small side plot involving Kevin’s next-door neighbour, which adds a nice touch.
Adding a hearty dose of comedy are ‘The Wet Bandits’ two burglars with their sights set on the Macallister home. Cue your child’s first introduction to black comedy and extreme violence as they are burnt, tripped, tarred and feathered, receive multiple head traumas, fractures and lascerations, are burnt some more, shot at and fall from the third floor of a house. It’s macabre violence masked as humour that wouldn’t be out of place in a Rockstar game and would certainly raise eyebrows if released these days (kids with BB Guns would never be allowed). Also note Joe Pesci’s attempt to swear without swearing throughout.
Working on the flipside to Kevin’s story is his mother Kate Macallister (Catherine O’ Hara) desperately trying to work her way back to him. It’s a nice touch to see the parental figure so determined in not only trying to get back to her son but also trying to redeem herself for her failures. Though it isn’t until she gets home after travelling for three days in planes and the back of a removal van when everyone else in the family arrives 30 seconds later that you wonder what the point was.
Home Alone is still a classic, and a staple for Christmas viewing with a broad audience for young and old. The slapstick appeals to kids and adults whilst the message on family is still potent today. Relive all the fun, and horror of a child with serious abandonment issues facing up to two criminals and not getting murdered by them. I love this film.
It is also highly quotable and full of recurring themes and jokes so makes for an excellent Christmas drinking game, couple it with some homebrew moonshine eggnog and get more turnt up than Santa on boxing day!
For bonus shits and giggles check out a medical professionals opinion on Harry and Marvs injuries
Words by Andrew ‘Mash’ Marshall