by Victoria H
December means a lot of things for many people, but for me it signals that it is time for Christmas films. And one of the classics that must be re-visited every year is Home Alone. What child hasn’t at some point thought how much better life would be were they left to their own devices? No parents around to tell you what to do – that was the dream!
And that is exactly what makes this film so special. It speaks directly to your childhood, and fulfils one of your childhood fantasies. With no parents around what would you have gotten up to? At first, Kevin reacts how many of us would with ice cream and banned films. Quickly however the novelty wears off. Kevin realises that there are responsible things he needs to sort out like doing the laundry, and buying a toothbrush and milk. The sort of chores that every child moans at when a parent asks, yet when you’re alone you quickly realise how vital those chores actually are. In this way, this cocky eight year old grows up a little and learns to take care of himself.
Kevin realises though what many of us do – Christmas and the holidays just aren’t the same without family. It is not the presents under the tree or the sweets you get to eat that make the holidays so special. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) may have wished his family away, but by the end of the film he is wishing them back. Family may get on your nerves, but the holidays and life just aren’t the same without them. The fantasy might seem great, the reality is often very different.
While the plot is quite implausible (i.e. forgetting a child and not realising until you’re on a plane halfway to Paris), it is the performance of Macaulay Culkin that keeps you invested in the film and the plot. His smirks and charm sell you on his grand implausible adventure from being left alone to fending off two adult burglars. Nowhere is this more apparent than when he is questioned by a cashier and charms his way past her suspicions.
This film is perhaps most memorable for the pranks and booby traps that he sets for the house burglars. Using toys and tools found around the house, Kevin creates a plan to protect his home and himself. While it is hard to believe that an eight year old could be that ingenious, believability is not the intent of this film, it is entertainment. And on this Home Alone delivers.