THE STORY: 8-year-old Kevin McAllister is accidentally left behind when his family takes off for a vacation in France over the holiday season. Once he realizes they’ve left him home by himself, Kevin learns to fend for himself, and eventually has to protect his house against bumbling burglars Harry and Marv, who are planning to rob every house in Kevin’s suburban Chicago neighborhood. Kevin’s mother Kate is frantic when she realizes that she and the family have unintentionally left Kevin behind in Chicago, and she tries to make it back to Chicago as fast as she can, getting help from a polka band leader named Gus Polinski.
THE REVIEW: Home Alone was a movie I’d seen dozens of times before my kids were born and once they came along their laughs brought my love back for the movie. I can still remember waiting in line to see it when I was a junior in high school. This is absolutely a holiday classic.
John Hughes already had a bunch of brilliant comedies under his belt and when Home Alone was released it was the start of a brilliant franchise—that ended with Home Alone 2. Everything about Home Alone is pure movie magic from the brilliant Macaulay Culkin to the casting of the villains; Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. No matter how ridiculous the movie gets it always makes you laugh. Over and over again. There is a reason we watch America’s Funniest Home Videos. We find it funny to watch people get injured and Home Alone does it better than most, especially when there is a kid getting back at the adults. Finally a kid saves the day!
THE EXTRAS: The extras start with a commentary by Director Chris Columbus and Macaulay Culkin. Columbus spends real time talking about the movie from the bottom up while Culkin wants to make a joke of it. It seems he’s still uncomfortable with the success—even though he claims to be okay with it. Columbus really does some amazing dishing about the making of Home Alone, working with the actors, and designing the sequences where Pesci and Stern take a beating.
“The Making of Home Alone” – Some of the original cast members are involved. Joe Pesci was the most welcome. It was obvious that none of the actors expected the movie to be nearly as big a hit as it ended up being.
“Mac Cam: Behind the Scenes with Macaulay Culkin” – This is Culkin with a camcorder with added commentary by present day Culkin.
“How to Burglar Proof Your Home: The Stunts of Home Alone” – This featurette is all about the painful falls and stunts.
“Home Alone Around the World” – This is a featurette where we see what it’s like to watch Home Alone in another language. It’s not very interesting.
“Where’s the Buzz Now?” – This is all about Kevin’s odd looking older brother and where he would be in the world of Home Alone if he were real. The actor Devin Ratray, aka Buzz, comes by to discuss.
“Angels with Filthy Souls” – We get the entire scene from Home Alone uninterrupted.
“Deleted Scenes/Alternate Takes” – This runs under twenty-minutes and its all too obvious why.
Finally there is a Blooper Reel, 1990 Press Featurette and Set-Top Games: Battle Plan, Trivia Game, & Head Count.
FRANKLY: Everything from the hilarious moment of Kevin putting on aftershave, to running from the cop, meeting Santa who gives him breath mints, to scaring the pizza guy; Home Alone is a classic. The big question is whether you need to buy the Family Fun Edition. If you don’t already own the movie this is the one to buy—but if you own it already there is no reason to rush out and get it. We’ll watch the movie a thousand more times—the extras won’t be watched again.
+ Charlie Craine