Home Alone: Movie Review

By Kyle Anderson

Staff Writer

Cover to the original Home Alone movie.

Home Alone is a cherished Christmas movie beloved by most families. Mine in particular likes to watch the whole franchise during the holiday season. My sister always loved to harass my mom about watching it as soon as humanly possible. So in the spirit of tradition (and to write a review of it), we decided to sit down and watch it again. While the whole movie is very slapstick-y, there are some instances of name-calling and violence, so if you have an impressionable child, be careful when watching this movie with them.

Home Alone is the story of 8-year-old Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin), a mischievous middle child who feels ignored by his large extended family. While the family is preparing for a Christmas vacation in Paris, Kevin gets in trouble, is banished to the attic overnight, and wishes his family would disappear. Kevin gets his wish the next morning when his family mistakenly leaves him behind. At first, Kevin could not be more excited relishing in his new freedom, but pretty soon, he realizes that being home alone is not all it is cracked up to be. He begins to miss his mom and even his bully brother. With all the neighborhoods other families gone on vacation, too, Kevin has no one to turn to for help. Even the cops do not want to help him because they assume he is up to his usual tricks.

Meanwhile, a pair of bumbling burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern takes advantage of the situation by pillaging the neighborhood for valuables. It is now up to Kevin to defend his home, using every prank in his well-stocked arsenal. A series of violent, slapstick, wince-inducing shenanigans ensue. Was our benevolent prankster for a protagonist able to stop the thieves? You will have to watch the movie to find out for yourself.

To get us started overall, this movie is pretty good, 8.5/10 on the Kyle Opinion Scale™. It’s a good-natured, but a bit unrealistic film made for the whole family. Kids and adults of all ages will enjoy this movie, as long as everyone’s okay with the violence (let’s be honest, who is not okay with violence? It is hilarious), profanity (also funny), and disrespectful behavior within the family (funny, but it depends on who you ask).

Its endearing story and a charming performance by Culkin make Home Alone standout among the usual holiday movies to watch with the family. Without using too many familiar tropes found in most family Christmas movies, it’s the use of slapstick humor that gives this movie its uniqueness. With that being said, they do use A LOT of slapstick, almost to the point of unrealism. 

We also need to talk about Kevin for a second, and this kid is sadistic with his traps and such (minor spoilers for surprises).

In one scene, instead of looking or, I don’t know, blocking the door with a chair, the ever-merciful Kevin decides the best course of action is to set the doorknob on fire. In another scene, he unleashes his brother’s pet spider onto the unsuspecting burglars, and instead of escaping as he should, he decides to stop and let these burglars fear for their lives. This child is scary. I just know if he grew up and went into the army, they would have to make a new convention from all the horrible things he would do, like filling a tank’s driving compartment with smoke bombs filled with mini bees or something.

As previously stated, this movie is pretty great, and I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to watch it. But beware, your child may start putting toys on the top of your stairs in a vain hope to protect their house!

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