For as long as I can remember, Home Alone has always been this movie our family has loved—and we don’t question it. The 33-year old me watches it to this day. My siblings and I don’t even need to stay glued to the screen because we know it so well from start to finish. It is so ingrained in our brains.
With its continued success, here are reasons why this movie has stood the test of time.
From his delivery to his facial expressions, Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McAllister (directed by Chris Columbus, who also directed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone) nailed his character perfectly. Some of his memorable scenes include his look of shock paired with both hands on his face (he did that first, not Deadpool—whom I also love).
You cannot discount the “Wet Bandits.”
When you think of Joe Pesci, you think mafia and crime. Even though I have loved the moves he has starred in, the kid in me will always associate him with this movie. It will always stick out like a sore thumb. Add in Daniel Stern, and you get Harry and Marv. In Netflix’s Movies That Made Us, Stern even mentioned that a fan had his face tattooed on his body. If that does not tell you how relevant it still is, I do not know what else would.
This movie found the perfect actors and actresses to play their respective characters. In addition to Kevin, Harry, and Marv, we have to give a special shout-out to Catherine O’Hara, who played the tenacious mother Kate McAllister, who was determined to get home to his son that she went on a tirade at the airport.
The appearance of the late John Candy in the film didn’t hurt.
In a word, Ouch.
Harry and Marv did not stand a chance against Kevin. The pranks, the falls, the bruises—that was not a good day for them. If there’s one lesson to learn from this movie: never underestimate a child and his creativity.
Kevin McAllister is the dream child of every parent who probably doesn’t want a kid who clings to them all the time (but why though?), and every bad guy’s nightmare. He pretty much set the bar high for kids everywhere. We needed to bring our A-game. But he also provided the manual for any potential home invasions.
Let’s face it, most of the elements had all the makings of a home invasion crime film. But, with some Christmas trimmings, it was a certified comical Holiday hit.
The idea of the parents accidentally leaving their child at home was a recipe for disaster. At first, he relished the solitude—which is relatable because when we were kids, we all wondered what it would be like if we were home alone—until eventually, he missed his family.
If he had groceries at home, water and electricity were fine and running smoothly—he would be okay. But then plot twist: there are thieves in the scene. All of a sudden, he wasn’t just a kid alone. He was a kid home alone who needed to protect his fortress.
Overall the movie gives audiences a sentimental perspective to its audience. Everybody has their favorite scenes. I always go back to the church scene because of the way they captured the scene—the choir, his conversation with “Old Man Marley”—it was just a perfect start to the madness that was about to unfold.
There will be more Christmas movies to come. One thing is clear: Home Alone will always remain on everyone’s list.