Wednesday, December 23, 2015

My Review of Home Alone (1990)

Written by John Hughes
Directed by Chris Columbus

Kevin: "Merry Christmas ya filthy animals and a Happy New Year."

Well, we all know this movie, don't we? I'm going to be slightly controversial with this review by starting off with admitting that this while a great movie, is not my favourite Christmas movie and that I slightly prefer the sequel. I'm also going to admit that despite a great performance from Macauley Culkin, Kevin McAllister is not one of the most likeable of child protagonists we've ever had in a Christmas movie.

Granted, his parents (John Heard and Catherine O'Hara), siblings and other relatives aren't exactly the most likeable of people either but considering some of the damage and chaos that follows Kevin, maybe they had the right idea in leaving him behind while the decided to go to Paris for the Christmas Holidays.

And then there's Kevin's unholy acts of terrors on bumbling burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern). In fact, considering the amount of pranks and hijinks that Kevin subjected them to, it's amazing that both burglars made it out of this movie alive, never mind later pop up in the New York based sequel.

Not to mention the fact that Kevin gravely misjudged kindly neighbour Old Man Marley (Robert Blossom) as well but at least the latter came to Kevin's aid when the burglars suddenly got the better of his dangerous pranks.

Okay, on a serious note, I do like this movie a lot. It's certainly an iconic one from the early 1990s and a career defining/restricting movie for Culkin and there isn't a bad performance throughout. While it does get a little sugary at the end (it's a Christmas movie, it's in the rules somewhere), there's enough fun and mayhem to keep things moving along that the saccharine moments at the end are more moving for it.

- The movie that Kevin watches on video tape is not a real film, but footage specially created. It was called Angels With Filthy Souls.
- Apparently the concept of this movie came about during the filming of Uncle Buck.
- This was the highest grossing movie of 1990.
- There's some kind of legend of Elvis being in this movie. Considering he died over a decade before this movie was made, I find that kind of doubtful.

Excluding most of the sequels, imitations and that strange YouTube Culkin himself did about a week ago, Home Alone does remain a deserved classic. It's a bit strange to think that this movie is now 25 years old but it's certainly aged pretty well though and one that no doubt will be watched by many over the Christmas period and possibly more than once too.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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