In case you haven’t done your yearly re-watch of Christopher Columbus’ delightful family movie about childhood abandonment,Home Alone, you might want to think about something your next time through: if this was real, the scenario would be terrifying. Not only is an 8-year-old child left behind when his family flies to Paris, but that same week two home-intruding burglars keep trying to break into his house.
Kevin’s response to this isn’t to call the police, but formulate a house full of traps to cause bodily harm to the intruders. The movie doesn’t deal with real physics or consequences, so it seems fine. Now, thanks to a random project from a member of the band The Moldy Peaches,we get a present day look at Kevin McAllister and the entire ordeal has been shown in a very dark light.
The film’s production designer, John Muto, was aware of the dark basis right from the beginning of Home Alone’s production. “I kept telling people we were doing a kids version of Straw Dogs,” he told Slate in an interview about the finale of the movie. It’s a thirty minute sequence where Kevin sets up improvised booby traps to hurt the burglars played by Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci.
The real danger that Kevin is in didn’t have an impact on the character’s sunny outlook when the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York, strands Kevin in the big city where he does more incredibly dangerous things like walking in Central Park at night and setting up a second house of horrors for the same two bandits (sticky, formerly wet).
Home Alone does play with a lot of the same tropes as a home invasion horror film, if you leave out the wishing away your parents and your older brother Buzz owning a very helpful tarantula. The trope of having to defend your house, a place of safety, from intruders is one that continues to be used in horror and thrillers alike. Not so much in many more children’s films. That has remained Home Alone’s deal.
The first Home Alone came out in 1990, so a fully grown Kevin McAllister would now be thirty three years old. Macaulay Culkin, the young actor who was so charming as Kevin at age 10 and made a bunch of money…and got to hang out with Michael Jackson…is now thirty five. It’s easy to see how the disturbed gentleman that appears in the first episode of a comedic web series called :DRYVRS is supposed to be Kevin even though they legally can’t say Kevin.
:DRYVRS is a webseries from writer/producer/guitarist Jack Dishel about an Uber-like car service and the hilarious stories of the people who drive and use them. Dishel appears as the guy who is ordering the car super-stressed Kevin shows up in. If he looks familiar, it’s because he was also the guitarist of the indie band The Moldy Peaches, who had a brief moment in the spotlight when their song “Nobody Else But You” was the highlight of the movie Juno with Michael Cera and Ellen Page.