Is Disney’s take on “Home Alone” worthwhile?


Stephani Bradley

This new generation of the Home Alone attempts a more modern twist on physical comedy.

The “Home Alone” series of films is one of the first things that come to mind when one thinks about iconic holiday films. Produced by 20th Century Studios, Inc., the series follows Kevin Mccalister (portrayed by Macaulay Culkin) and his attempts at thwarting the schemes of burglars (especially the Wet Bandits).

Disney+, The Walt Disney Company’s streaming service, gleefully picked up “Home Sweet Home Alone,” which was marketed as a spiritual successor to the original Home Alone films. The newest film follows the exploits of another mischievous preteen boy: Max Mercer (portrayed by Archie Yates).

Yates accurately captures the mischievous spark that Culkin’s original character had throughout the original film.

The plot opens with a married couple who are attempting to sell their house. During an open house, Max and his mother stop in to use the restroom. Max and Jeff (the husband) get into a conversation.

Jeff reveals that he owns a valuable doll with a factory defect and Max shows interest. Jeff intends to sell the doll on eBay and earn an insane amount of money from it. He erroneously believes that Max is seeking out the doll and is intending to steal it from the couple.

The married couple in question are Jeff and Pam McKenzie (Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper). Written to serve as a sort of replacement for the Wet Bandits, their attempts to reclaim the doll that was stolen from them provides the story with its main conflict.

From there, it proceeds with the same tropes that made the original film series so successful, with a touch of modernity and 2021 sensibilities. However, the film falls short of what made the original series so magical.

Parts of the film read a bit like Home Alone fanfiction on Wattpad. However, references made in the film to the lore of the original series struck a nostalgic chord in the hearts of 90s kids everywhere.

Some things that stuck out to me were the shoutouts to the original franchise. In the world of this particular film, Kevin is now the owner of a successful home security company, which ties into the multiple traps he set throughout the original films to catch the Wet Bandits.

In addition, Buzz Mccalister makes an appearance as a police officer who eventually arrests the
married couple who attempted to rob Max’s house. The marriage of the traditional Home Alone plot points with modern sensibilities was rather interestingly done.

I feel that Home Sweet Home Alone is not a worthy successor to the original films in the Home Alone series.

With that aside, I can see the appeal of introducing the Home Alone series to the next generation, but it’s probably best for the Mouse to just leave well enough alone when it comes to the Home Alone films.