In case you missed it, Disney announced a while back their plans to reboot the original Home Alone 1 as part of their Disney+ streaming services. To which I ask: how the hell is that going to work?
Let’s face it, Home Alone 1 is a Christmas classic. Our family watches it at least half a dozen times throughout the year: Christmas, Christmas in July, when it randomly comes on TV, and so on.
But that’s not why they can’t remake the original. No, they can’t remake the original because there are too many glaringly obvious plot holes with adapting the story to modern times.
Believe me, our family has spent many hours discussing the issues of the same situation happening in today’s world. Yes, we are that pathetic.
Before you start to rationalize that a fresh take on the plot could be good, I ask you, do you remember the steaming piles of dog crap that Home Alone 3, 4, and 5 were? Hell, did you even know a number 5 existed?
No? It’s because they were terrible. So terrible in fact that the studio should have to pay retribution to any person who wasted any amount of their life watching them.
5 Reasons Why Home Alone 1 Wouldn’t Work in Today’s World
Home Alone was set in 1990. For those of you who remember watching it as a kid (or adult) in theaters, let that sink in. 1990 was nearly 30 years ago. Yeah, we’re old.
In the time period it was set, Home Alone sorta, maybe, kinda was plausible. A rushed, neglectful (seriously neglectful) family “forgets” (wink wink) their one pain in the ass son. (Helicopter parents and sanctimommies weren’t a thing back then, but the premise seems pretty unlikely even by 90’s standards.)
So, here are the top reasons why a modern day reboot won’t work.
One of the latest cell phones released (the year prior in 1989) looked like this monstrosity.
No texting. No data. And though Kevin’s dad may have had one for work, it is not likely he would have had more than one.
By contrast, today, many families provide phones for their kids. For some, it is for safety. For others its convenience. While for some, their kid rules their house.
Regardless of the reason, it is far more likely today that Kevin would have had the ability to text someone when he woke up.
And, within minutes of Kevin’s mom realizing (like 6 hours later, she really is the worst) she’d left her son at home, she could have texted him or several of her friends in the area.
You know the ones. They were all out “shopping” when they called from now non-existent pay phones. But with cell phones, problem solved. I mean, Kate is still pretty much the worst mom ever, but at least she could get help for her son.
Then, there is the later scene in the movie. Kevin just zip lined from the attic window to his tree house. He then taunts the Wet Bandits by saying “I’m calling the cops!” In 1990, only an idiot would believe he would call the cops from a tree house.
Marv and Harry have a brief argument about what to do next. Marv argues, “but he’s gonna call the cops!” To which Harry scoffs, “From a tree house?”
Yes, Harry, from a tree house. For all you know the kid could have videoed the whole damn thing. Or maybe shared a status update on any number of platforms.
Though it may be hard for some youngsters to believe, social media did not exist in the 90s. People actually had to hang out face to face, write letters, go to reunions, and socialize without sharing every moment with a social following. You know, all the crap introverts dread, like going to the dentist.
If Home Alone 1 was set in today’s world, Kevin would almost certainly be active on social media. He’d likely post pictures or statuses of himself hanging out at home because, you know, he made his “family disappear.”
Overly Concerned Citizens
Another problem with a modern day retelling of Home Alone involves overly concerned citizens. You can do a lot of crazy things these days and no one looks twice.
But leave your kid in the car to return a shopping cart for less than a minute? Or let your kids play outside by themselves? Some concerned citizen is calling the cops on your ass.
So could you imagine the reaction to someone leaving their kid when they went to another country? The police would have the McCallisters extradited before they left the plane.
Part of how Home Alone‘s plot moved forward involved inept officers barely taking note of a parent leaving a child home alone. After an exhausting phone call, one lone officer checked the house, found it locked, and moved on. That’s some super sleuth work right there.
The police show up two other times after that. Once when an officer chases Kevin for shop lifting. And once when they arrested the Wet Bandits at the neighbor’s home.
Then there is Old Man Marley the lovable old man that definitely doesn’t kill random people and bury them in his basement. At the end, when he rescues Kevin, how does he not even blink an eye at the fact that:
- He just knocked out two men who had kidnapped Kevin
- When he returns Kevin to his home, there are booby traps and no sign of his parents
And finally, social keyboard warriors would make sure to judge the McCallisters for being neglectful pieces of crap. After all, you’re not really guilty until a group of unknown peers harshly judges your situation after reading all the “facts” on their preferred social media outlet.
Home Alone makes a semi-plausible – if still unrealistic – reason they could make it halfway to Europe before they noticed a missing kid. Mainly, they had to scramble to get ready and get to the airport.
For some reason, 15 excited, possibly anxious, people managed to oversleep. Maybe they all took ambien to calm their nerves or maybe they were all in a pizza induced comma after consuming 10 pizzas between the lot of them.
The given reason, of course, is a wind storm knocked out power and turned off all the alarms (again, cell phones would have solved this) and they all oversleep. As they are finally loading into the vans, there is only 45 minutes before their flight leaves.
If the same situation was used in today’s world, they might as well call their airline and get on the next flight. Or, Uncle Frank would have to point out “there’s no way we’re going to make this flight, it leaves in 3 hours.”
In that 3 hours, the family would have plenty of time to collect themselves and recount heads as they went through security at O’Hare. The plot would need to determine a new, compelling reason why no one missed Kevin… unless, of course, their goal all along was to leave him in the first place… “Oh yes officer, we ‘forgot’ him….”
So there you have it – five not so compelling reasons Home Alone 1 would make little to no sense in today’s world. Still, as a family friendly, somewhat dated film goes, it is well worth the watch. At this point, let’s just hope when Disney reboots the original Home Alone it will not be as terrible as The Grinch in 2017.
But if you haven’t seen Home Alone 1 or any of its sequels in a while, you can watch them all now on Disney Plus. Along with a whole load of classics and garbage you haven’t watched in a long time.
The Home Alone Pizza Issue
There is one more area of concern I have that confuses the hell out of me: the amount of pizza they ordered. Mainly, why did they need that much pizza? Especially since they were likely going to be gone at least a week. You think milk goes bad, try two week old pizza Kate.
Let’s do the math here. They had 15 people in the house the night before they left. They ordered 10 pizzas. If they ordered medium pies, at 8 slices a piece, it works out to about 5.3 slices a person. If they ordered large pies, at 10 slices a piece, it works out to about 6.6 slices a person.
Grant it, I am sure Buzz could probably pack away an entire pizza. But 4 to 5 slices for every one else is a bit high. This is especially true when you consider there are some younger children and other people who probably don’t want to or can’t eat that much pizza.
Finally, there is the issue of why did they order such a small number of plain pizzas? It shows they are not only neglectful, but stupid.
Call me crazy, but when ordering pizza for a large group, I tend to order mainly plain with maybe one or two sausage, mushroom, or pepperoni. Or I take orders so I know which kinds to get.
If you’re interested in reading about other Home Alone 1 inconsistencies, you can check out CinemaBlend for other oddities they found through out the first two films. Or you can check out all the reasons Home Alone should make you say what the hell?
Are they rebooting Home Alone on Disney+?
Since every sequel after the original Home Alone became an increasingly large steaming pile of shit, yes, they are planning to do a reboot of Home Alone to play on Disney+. I have zero hope this movie will actually be any good. None what so ever. But it should be good fun to review.
Update November 28, 2021: Yes, the reboot/sequel that they released was as bad as I had originally thought. In fairness, I did try to approach it with an open mind, but it just wasn’t that good.
You can read my full review of Home Sweet Home Alone here.
How the reboot Home Sweet Home Alone addressed these concerns
Updated November 28, 2021:
Home Sweet Home Alone is the reboot/sequel that Disney announced quite some time ago, at least it feels that way given how 2020 went. In any cases, they did take steps to address some of the concerns on my list and make a somewhat plausible reason the main character, Max, got left behind.
Here is how the family in the reboot “successfully” left little Max behind:
- The airline screwed up and put his mother on an earlier flight than the rest of the family. Of course, rather than bothering to confirm who all got messed up, no one found any reason to do anything but say “Don’t see the kid, must be in Japan.”
- Max didn’t want to involve the police or others because, as I suggested above, he feared they’d actually lock his mother up for child endangerment.
- When the police got called, Buzz, Kevin’s older brother from the original Home Alone, said that the call was a prank pulled by his brother who does it every year as retaliation for his family leaving him behind. Twice.
- For some reason, his family still not have a cell phone for their 10ish year old kid. Which seems suspect but may be plausible if they don’t typically leave him alone for short trips.
Want to try a hard Home Alone quiz?
If you like useless knowledge quizzes, taking them online, and then getting congratulated for your efforts, I have the quiz for you. This quiz will test all your knowledge of Home Alone’s details that you have to be a real fan to know or remember.
Click here to take the Home Alone quiz that you’ll probably fail.
Or, for more Home Alone content, check out these other posts: