It wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Home Alone and with the recent release of Home Sweet Home Alonethere are now six instalments of the festive franchise to choose from.
Sadly, they are not all of the same quality. I got about 20 minutes into the new film starring one of the Jojo Rabbit kids before deciding it was not my bag, thought Home Alone 3 was rather forgettable and the less said about the television movie outings from 2002 and 2012 the better.
I guess I’m a sucker for the classics because no one does “resourceful child taking on low-level criminals” better than Macaulay Culkin did in the ’90s.
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But while most would favour his original 1990 outing as Kevin McCallister fending off Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s Sticky Bandits from burglarising his family home, it’s the 1992 sequel to which I have pledged an oath of fealty.
Not that many critics at the time of its release shared my affection. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, reunited director Chris Columbus and screenwriter John Hughes – yes, that John Hughes – with the OG cast but transferred the Christmas caper from suburbia to the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. It was criticised for reproducing plot beats from Home Alone, namely the festive setting, the booby trap finale and, of course, Kevin having to fend for himself after being forgotten by his family, but I’ve always felt that there are enough new themes, challenges and faces for this sequel to stand apart.
It gifted us Tim Curry’s snooping Plaza Hotel concierge Mr Hector and his infamous Grinch smile. The scenes in which he’s duped by Kevin’s hotel room antics – first using the recording of his uncle’s shower singing and second by the strategic use of black-and-white meta-movie sequel Angels with Even Filthier Souls – are pure hilarity.