Kevin McCallister: This is my house, I have to defend it.
I shamefully only just got round to watching this film and I can’t believe I waited so long to see it! I laughed all the way through and I can see why it’s so popular. There’s a lot of slapstick humour and Kevin was basically living every child’s dream in the house all alone. Having only seen it once I can’t say how much the film stands up on repeat viewing, but as it’s such a firm Christmas favourite I imagine it does, and I’ll definitely be watching it again!
8 year old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) was left alone at home after his family forgot him as they went on holiday to Paris. This is of course a highly doubtful scenario but I guess it shows how it could happen! Kevin thinks he made them disappear as he said about this the night before, an idea which plays out throughout the film. Anyway, whilst his mother (Catherine O’Hara) tries to get back as quickly as possible, Kevin has free run of the house which starts off all fun and games but soon takes a more ‘serious’ turn. Kevin has to defend the house from a pair of burglars (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) and does so in hilarious ways! Another character, Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom) also played a part in the film. Initially told that he was basically a murderer, Kevin comes to befriend him and it adds a nice dimension to the film.
Sometimes the slapstick humour can be a bit much, and it is over the top, but nevertheless the film gives you plenty of laughs! My absolute favourite bit was when Kevin used dialogue from a film called ‘Angels with Filthy Souls’, first with the Pizza delivery guy, then with Harry and Marv (the burglars). It made me laugh so much, and a similar thing happened in Home Alone 2, which was even better! I also loved the fake house party which confused the burglars no end! This visual humour isn’t to everyone’s taste, but for me, it never became too much. It kept on moving and continued to be entertaining and so it never felt too long or tedious which sometimes slapstick films can do.
The humour wasn’t all in the slapstick, the dialogue was funny (“Why are you dressed as a chicken?”) and the acting was good too! Pesci and Stern were great as the villains, thiugh they were quite exaggerated characters, and Culkin was super as Kevin. Given the film hinged on how good he was, it’s testament to him that he managed to do such a great job!
Overall this is a film i would recommend (unless you truly can’t stand comedy). For one viewing especially it really is worth watching. Repeat viewing could make it stale if this isn’t your kind of film but on first watch most people would love it I’m sure! It gives lots of laughs and is a great feel good film.
P.S. I have also seen Home Alone 2 and although the slapstick does get stale as the defences against the burglars are pretty similar to the first film, the sections with in the hotel are great. The film starts off good (maybe even better than the first) but for me it got a little repetitive at the end. Would still recommend seeing it though, especially if you enjoyed the first film!