Christmas films are stuffed (unlike a TURKEY am I right?) with moral lessons and teachings about values and all that good stuff that's meant to make you grow up to be a better person. Then there is Home Alone. A cartoon come to life, a violent explosion of violence and a childlike hunger for CONSUMERISM AND BLOOD. Die Hard for kiddies, Home Alone stands the test of time and beyond, it is arguably the greatest Christmas film of all time, and it's certainly one of the greatest of the 90s. I know we all watch it every year anyway, but has it even really aged? I mean the decor isn't minimalist shabby-chic, and no one has an iphone, but it's not embarrassingly dated. It taps into a very real fantasy, especially if you're from a BIG family and even these days I still want to stamp up and down and scream WHEN I GET MARRIED I'M LIVING ALONE.
There are two very important moral lessons that Home Alone does teach you though. What do you mean, don't take your family for granted? No that's not it, they are Number 1: Never trust cops and B: Always ask for Santa for favours before Jesus.
There's a couple of things I noticed in this watch of Home Alone that I either haven't noticed or thought about before. The first is Old Man Marley and his gnarly looking hand. All through the film his hand is various states of oozing wound, presumably either from murdering children or shoveling so much snow. Marley shovels snow for his suburban neighbours who don't even acknowledge him, night after night, as penance for his past mistakes. Throughout the film he has a wound on his hand that heals when he shakes hands with Kevin in the church. In his opening up his old wounds, his new one can finally heal. Either that or he's Jesus. It's a really nice touch, the film is kind of littered with these subtle points that suddenly one day make perfect sense. When I was little I just thought it was to make him scary, but really now I get it. Either that or he truly is Santa?
I was also excited to 'get' this time when Kevin goes to buy milk, the shot lingers for a second too long which kind of puzzled me. I see now that what the film's telling you is given the choice of chocolate milk or plain old milk, Kevin is finally growing up. HOW WILD IS THAT. A multi-layered masterpiece and craftmanship, wrapped in a goofy story about some burglers getting murked.
Home Alone shouldn't really have survived the test of time, it shouldn't have lasted our cynical digital-age era. What does Kevin's dad do to afford that McMansion? How can the police be that incompetent? Why doesn't Old Man Marley let anyone know Kevin is home alone after he is almost eaten alive by the bad guys? But none of that really matters, because it's not a film for adults, and those questions would never have bothered you when you were little. It's super nice to go back to a time when the highlight of your fantasies wasn't having a secure mortgage and a job you don't hate, but just eating three different kinds of ice cream and finding your brothers Playboy magazines.
Robyn is one half of Bimbo Movie Bash, an avid fan of Angel Delight and a Pee Wee apologist.