- Home Alone remains a fan-favorite holiday movie despite its flaws and mixed critical reception.
- The violence and plot holes in the movie, including Kevin’s brutal traps, have been points of debate among critics and viewers.
- Despite its flaws, Home Alone‘s lighthearted approach, humor, and heartwarming themes of family appreciation make it a Christmas classic worth revisiting.
With the holiday season underway, the latest episode of Screen Rant‘s own Pitch Meeting series is reflecting on its Home Alone analysis. Penned by celebrated ’80s director John Hughes and helmed by future Harry Potter franchise starter Chris Columbus, the movie revolves around a young boy left by his family during a holiday vacation, only to have to defend his house from a pair of cat burglars. Led by Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern and Catherine O’Hara, the movie remains a fan-favorite during the holiday season, with Culkin’s performance in particular scoring rave reviews and landing a Golden Globe nomination.
Just over 30 years after the movie first hit theaters, Screen Rant‘s Pitch Meeting series is looking back on its original episode exploring Home Alone. The initial analysis highlighted some of the flaws behind the Christmas favorite, including its various plot holes and the problematic nature of its young protagonist. The new episode, seen at the top of this article, also sees host Ryan George reflecting on his original video, admitting that his criticism of the comedy not being a Christmas movie was “gatekeeping” and finding his joke delivery to be not as quick as his more recent videos.
Why Home Alone Is A Flawed Christmas Classic
While it remains one of the most rewatched movies around the holidays, the original Home Alone remains far from being a perfect movie. Even at the time of its release, critical reception was initially mixed on the comedy, with its current Rotten Tomatoes score still sitting at a barely Fresh 66% approval rating on the review aggregate. This reception would continue on with its initial sequel, Lost in New York, which was criticized for feeling more forced in its emotional beats and over-the-top violence.
McCallister’s violence against Pesci’s Harry and Stern’s Marv in the original movie continues to be a point of debate among critics and audiences alike. Rather than taking the reasonable approach and call the police, Kevin instead took it upon himself to craft a host of brutal traps to take the burglars down. Some of the traps have not only sparked wild theories, including Home Alone being a Saw prequel with Kevin growing up to become Jigsaw, but have also raised questions of how Harry and Marv survived many of them, particularly the full paint buckets thrown at the duo’s faces. The latter would even be homaged in the holiday horror-comedy, Better Watch Out, when one victim was killed by the same trap.
Barring the plot holes and violent traps, however, Home Alone largely remains a Christmas classic thanks to its lighthearted approach to its concept. While the sequel raised the bar on its traps, the first movie kept the situation humorous enough to connect with both young and older audiences, while Kevin’s overall arc of appreciating his family and O’Hara’s passionate drive to get back to her son proves heartwarming enough to revisit during the holidays.