Home Alone is an absolute holiday classic and a cornerstone of many of our childhoods, but, like anything that I watched when I was little (then watched again 47 million other times including earlier today), there's a number of parts that always bugged me, and I think this blog post in the year 2012 as I near my 30s is the perfect place to FINALLY AIR THOSE GRIEVANCES.
Here are the 10 Parts In Home Alone That Have Always Bothered Me:
Kevin has enough time to sit in church during a choral rehearsal listening to an alleged shovel-murderer yammer on about his estranged son, then manages to turn his home into the frickin' Temple Of Doom in an hour, but he doesn't have time to take ONE BITE of his delicious-looking macaroni dinner so he isn't starving to death while attempting to maim adults? JUST EAT IT! Or better yet, don't take the time to LIGHT CANDLES, say grace, then BLOW OUT THE CANDLES YOU JUST LIT when the clock strikes a time the burglars said they'd be back around.
TAKE ONE BITEEEEEEEEE! PLEEEEEEEEEASSSEE! Ahhh, whatever - been yelling that for 20 years, it's no use. That reminds me: BRB, eating one million macaronis.
The most iconic scene in the film (besides the tour de force acting performance by the Little Nero's pizza boy) is built on a faulty premise: Why would the aftershave burn Kevin's face if he hadn't actually shaved? Is he just screaming as a joke? A joke for whom?? Is he just doing it to amuse himself, like he is with the Christmas-song hairbrush lip-synch?
Man, this is raising more questions than it's answering. Not going down that Lost rabbithole again. Kevin's house is purgatory and that's FINAL.
You know, it's one thing for Kevin to be slightly leery of a strange neighbor just because of some farfetched urban legend, but Kevin's fear is slightly more justified when that neighbor also goes out of his way to be DELIBERATELY CREEPY AS HELL at every possible opportunity. When Kevin finally meets him in church, the Shovel Guy tells him "You know, you can say hello when you see me," to which Kevin likely thinks (but doesn't say aloud) "And you can feel free to not slam your bloody hand down in front of me then silently murder-stare at me for ninety seconds while I flee a convenience store! Glad we had this talk."
Remember when you were eight and you always really wanted to watch Jimmy Cagney gangster movies from the 30s, but your mom wouldn't let you? And instead, just kept forcing you to watch stupid, kid-unfriendly things like Ninja Turtles and Transformers and Nicktoons and you were like "Mommmmmm, I don't CARE about ninjas eating pizza, I wanna see dialogue-heavy crime noirs about dudes named Johnny and Snakes!"
"Someday, when mom's not home, I am SO gonna sneak a peek of that gritty glimpse into the seedy underbelly of crooked municipal contractors..."
Harry and Marv are career petty-thieves who meticulously scout and rob rich peoples' homes, but then out of nowhere, Harry flips over to total psychopathy and decides he's going to brutally maim a child? I mean, I get that he's frustrated that he just got an 'M' burned into his hand-flesh for eternity, but still, killing a child is a sliiightly different echelon of crime than grabbing some rich woman's angel figurines.
WHAT WOULD'VE HAPPENED IF THE SHOVEL GUY HADN'T INTERVENED? Would Harry have literally bitten Kevin's fingers off while Marv watched?? What a moderately disturbing thought.
Maybe this was just a personal pet peeve, but I know if I had been left home alone when I was 8, I would've just fired up Mario 3 and played it nonstop until my mom came back, probably without ever realizing that she had left or that I had gotten hungry or that two burglars were in my home robbing everything of value around me. Was Catherine O'Hara one of those "We don't own any game systems" moms? If so, that really changes the narrative, and I'm rooting for the burglars every time I watch this movie from now on.
On his way home from visiting fake-Santa, Kevin pauses to watch another family do their Christmas Eve schmoozing, and it's a jam-packed house of dozens of smiling people simultaneously opening Christmas presents and decorating the tree and just generally having a big ol' "We Didn't Ditch Our Stupid Son!" jambaroo. Why would they be opening gifts and decorating the tree at the same time? Wouldn't the tree already have been decorated weeks ago? Everything about this scene is designed for absolute, maximum "rubbing it in" to make Kevin feel extra-bad for not being with his family.
Or maybe, since the scene is so exaggerated, we're actually just seeing things from Kevin's shattered mind as he slowly goes insane with grief? WOW, hadn't even considered that interpretation til this moment. That John Hughes truly was a genius on every level.
If Marv hadn't lost his shoes to the tar-stairs, him stepping on the Christmas ornaments wouldn't have hurt at all. My point is, couldn't ONE of Kevin's traps have not worked perfectly? Maybe I was a weird child, but I wanted some things to go right for the burglars, at least just to make it a little more interesting.
It reminds me of Die Hard 2, when the Swat Team gets ambushed by Colonel Stuart's goons and the goons kill every single cop without one of them dying, then Bruce Willis shows up later and kills every single goon. At least let the cops kill ONE goon, right?? Crap, sorry, got off track - I'll work on those Die Hard 2 GIFs another time (penciling them in for Christmas Day).
Kevin devises a brilliant plan to make his house appear to be full of people having a Christmas party, knowing that the burglars will drive by, see the silhouettes of Cutout Michael Jordan and company, and leave the house for the night. But wait - was Kevin operating these cutouts literally all night long to ensure that they'd be in action whenever the burglars happened to drive by? When did he start / stop? I mean, I respect the kid's resolve, but that level of nonstop physical exertion borders on self-torture.
This is still the single most wince-inducing shot in cinematic history, including every horror film, realistic war film, and flat-out torture-porn film ever made (like Home Alone 2, for example). YOU CAN LITERALLY SEE IT GOING INTO THE FOOT!!! HOW IS THIS ACCEPTABLE IN A CHILDREN'S MOVIE / ANY MOVIE / AHHHRGGRGHGRRHHHHHHHHHHHfwlkfjw ,/// fw/f
Sorry just passed out on my keyboard for a day. What were we talking about? AHHHH THE NAIL SCENEEEEEEEE NOOOOOOOOO!!!
Ok, ok, passed out for another day. But I think I made my point. Like a "pointy" nail. AHHHHHH [THUD]
I only noticed this the last time I watched the movie (my 800th viewing or so, give or take), so it doesn't technically count as something that's bothered me since I was little, but the "Kevin sledding down the stairs" scene is completely physically impossible. He's clearly lined up to smash into the wall, but somehow does an impossible zigzag to go straight out the door (he might have been able to make the door if he'd gone in a diagonal line, but even that's a stretch, plus he's clearly coming out of the house in a straight line, so don't even TRY that magic bullet theory, Home Alone conspiracy theorists.)
IN CONCLUSION: Uh, my point was, Home Alone is still pretty much the best movie ever made. That's all!
For further reading, check out for my forthcoming follow-up list, "The 89,537 Parts In Home Alone 2 That Still Bother Me".