Keep the change, ya filthy animal! Home Alone (1990) centers around a bratty 8-year-old who is accidently left behind by his family during Christmas. Directed by Chris Columbus, written by John Hughes and music score by John Williams – the trifecta of movie making masters, the film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin, Catherine O’Hara, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, and John Heard. What would you do if you were a kid and home alone? No parents. No rules. No responsibilities. It would be every kid's dream right? YouTubers Chris Stuckmann, Oliver Harper and TJ and Sammy from the channel Double Toasted, share their retro reviews on the classic 90’s film.
Home Alone has been a staple of my entire life. I adore this film.
Watching this movie every year, it never gets old and it's one of the best family movies and family comedies says YouTuber Chris Stuckmann. The nostalgia of Home Alone always brings him back to his childhood, emulating the same feelings of fun and adventure from watching Kevin go all out crazy when he realizes he’s home alone and when he sets up the outrageous “boobie traps” around the house to defend himself from burglars.
One of the biggest aspects of the film that contributed to its long-term success is from the performance of then child actor Macaulay Culkin as the mischievous, bratty and witty 8-year-old. Every kid in the 90’s wanted to be him, says Stuckmann.
And Macaulay Culkin genuinely is perfect in this movie. It’s one of the best child performances ever. He’s amazing in this film. He gave everything that this film needed. He was the kid hero of the 90s … he was that kid that every single kid … wanted to be him.
Stuckmann also believes part of the reason the movie was so celebrated and well received is not only the cast performance but the technical aspects of the film in part by director Chris Columbus. Especially in the scenes between the two villain house burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, both the slapstick humor and clever editing add to the overall comedic effect.
This is a really well edited movie. He knows exactly when to put a pause. When not to put a pause. When to speed up the humor. It’s really well made … there’s a scene that has perfect editing and perfect comic timing.
Music composer John Williams does a great job in creating a memorable score for the film, says YouTuber Oliver Harper. Williams, who was hesitant at first about joining the project, later changed his tone after seeing a rough draft of the film comparing it to the likes of another movie classic E.T. (1982).
But having watched the rough cut he loved the movie and thought it had the magic of ET and gladly took the offer … like all of John’s work, the score is superb and very memorable. As soon as you hear the opening theme you instantly know its Home Alone.
The music really captures the essence of that holiday Christmas spirit along with some modern sounds of energy, adventure and youth, according to Harper. The music and stunning cinematography really give a holiday Christmas vibe.
What the film successfully captures is that classic look of Christmas very much like the ideal American celebration of the holiday season. It’s that kind of hallmark card design.
Both YouTubers note the perfect chemistry between Joe Pesci’s character and Daniel Stern’s character as one of the best comedic duos of the early 90’s.
The moment with the spider is the best part of the film for me. Daniel has the finest scream on film and when he sees the spider on Pesci, the look on Joe’s face is priceless as he’s about to get wacked with a crowbar to the chest.
The two actors have become iconic in their roles as the scheming Harry and Marv, who also went on to play them in the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
You can’t even imagine him played by someone else nowadays. It’s impossible to even comprehend someone other than Daniel Stern being with Joe Pesci in this movie … they’re chemistry is perfect.
Singing a slightly different tone about the film, YouTubers TJ and Sammy find Kevin to be quite the annoying, disrespectful and disturbed kid. The YouTubers also feel the entire scenario revolving around a kid being left at home by himself as a huge deal is in reality not that big of a deal. There are plenty of real-life situations in which parents would need to leave their kids at home for long periods of time in order to work and provide for their families. In the film, Kevin goes wild doing absolutely whatever his heart desires. TJ questions the authenticity of this scenario as he reflects on his own experiences of being home alone as a kid.
That was my biggest qualm from the start. My mom and dad have left me home alone a shit ton for a long period of time for reasons because they have to work and this kid is like I’m home alone for two days and acting like this?
The fact that Kevin is acting like this concerns Sammy, who really dislikes the main character and feels at that age, should know better how to act accordingly. He gives examples of when Kevin is caught shoplifting and running from the security guard or when he is walking across the street in his neighborhood without looking for oncoming car traffic and almost gets slammed by a truck.
Kevin has no concept of self-preservation at all … it’s as if he had no instruction growing up so he doesn’t know how to hold back or handle certain scenarios.
Despite their negative criticisms about the authenticity of the characters and situations, the one part of the movie the YouTubers did enjoy is the subplot around Kevin’s scary neighbor Marley, whom we learn is a sad old man trying to find a way to see his granddaughter and make amends with his son.
In this weird wacky comic movie with all these crazy hijinks and all this comic violence, you get this really sweet moment … I don’t know if it’s the juxtaposition of everything else with that scene, that shit moved me man.
YouTubers Stuckmann and Harper find great nostalgia in re-watching the 90’s classic during the holiday season, while TJ and Sammy just find Kevin to be an annoying spoiled brat.
YouTubers Chris Stuckmann, Oliver Harper and TJ and Sammy from Double Toasted, rate and review movies and TV shows on their channels regularly.