90s Movies.net takes a look at one of the most classic Christmas films in the vast halls of film history.
Of all the 90s movies that litter my DVD shelf (formerly VHS shelf), Home Alone is definitely in the top five in terms of quantity of repeat viewings. A combination of slapstick and family friendliness with a healthy dose of hijinks, Kevin McCallister’s escapades rank among the top tier of kid-friendly Christmas films.
The McCallister family have grandiose plans this Christmas season as they plan to haul their entire, oversized family to Paris for the holiday season to celebrate the birth of Santa Clause by the virgin Mary. It’s the night before their flight and everyone is excited for the big trip.
The youngest kid in the family, Kevin, is constantly being teased and his fury is continuously instigated by the older kids in the household. He is clearly the black sheep of the family. His older brother Buzz is the biggest thorn in his side, and they get into a physical altercation after Buzz informs Kevin that someone ate all of the cheese pizza. This aggression will not stand, man.
Because of the altercation, Kevin is sent to sleep alone on the creepy third floor bedroom of the house without finishing his dinner. Upset and visibly angry, Kevin stomps on the floor and declares that he wishes his family would disappear.
Unbeknownst to everyone, there is a power outage in the neighborhood which resets the household alarm clocks causing everyone to oversleep. In a whirlwind of confusion and a tight time constraint, Kevin is accidentally left behind and his parents don’t realize their folly until they are at cruising altitude in the departing flight. Upon the shocking discovery, Kevin’s parents try desperately to book an immediate flight home.
Every kid’s dream is to have their house to themselves, though, and Kevin is no different. He finds the home completely empty and deserted and believes his wish to have come true. He goes through Buzz’s room and steals the cash he had saved up, plays with his BB gun, jumps on the bed like a madman, and watches schlocky gangster films while stuffing his face with ice cream and junk food. He’s living the dream.
The real conflict unfolds when Kevin overhears two idiotic robbers, Harry and Marv, discussing plans for breaking into his house that night. He decides to booby trap his entire house to try and foil the robbers’ attempts to break in. However dimwitted, Harry and Marv somehow make it through the myriad of traps and dangers littered about the house and cause Kevin to flee to the second floor and dial for help. They pursue him until he is forced to jump out of a second story window and ride a makeshift zip line into his treehouse.
Eventually, he makes it to a neighboring home that is also vacant and thinks he is home free. Out of nowhere, Harry and Marv catch up to him and hang him on a coat hook on the back of a door and are preparing to do their worst. Fortunately, Kevin’s elusive and elderly neighbor comes out of nowhere to rescue him by pounding the two crooks in the face with a snow shovel and justice is served by the local police.
Early the next morning, Kevin awakes and is saddened to see that his family is still missing. Suddenly, he hears his mother calling for him from downstairs. He runs down the stairs and into her waiting arms where they reconcile their differences instantly. Immediately after, the rest of the family arrives home as well, having traveled directly from Paris back to Chicago. Kevin decides against telling them what happened with the would-be burglars, although his dad find’s Harry’s gold tooth that was knocked out by one of Kevin’s traps. The film ends with Buzz discovering the ruins of his room after Kevin ransacked it.
Honestly, the comedic duo of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern is so spot-on that this film was destined to become a classic. More than just the voice of the adult Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years, Daniel Stern proves that he has some serious range as an actor. The scene with the tarantula still makes me laugh.