The Californian

‘Home Alone’ remains classic

Matt Martinez, Staff Writer

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Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit more than watching Joe Pesci threaten to eat an eight-year-old MaCaulay Culkin’s fingers.

            “Home Alone” is widely regarded as a holiday classic, and is constantly playing during the 25 Days of Christmas on TV, usually sandwiched in between that movie where Will Ferrell is dressed as a child predator, and any number of unsettling stop motion features about Santa-hating introverts that can control the weather.

However, despite the legendary status of countless other movies that revolve around the celebration of Jesus’ birth, director Chris Columbus’ 1984 film still manages to be the strongest of the bunch.

            What makes “Home Alone” such a wonderful winter watch is the way it juxtaposes a story about neglectful parents and home invasion against the backdrop of the holiday season.

            The budding protagonist of the movie, Kevin McCallister (Culkin) is one of the most beloved child characters in all of cinematic history. I mean, how can you not swoon when he puts the after-shave on his face and screams at the mirror? Right off the bat, every single kid relates to him and his outsider status in his family. Then, within the first twenty minutes, he lives out the fantasy that every kid has had at one point: making your family disappear! *Looks directly at the camera and raises eyebrows repeatedly*

            “Wet Bandits” Harry and Marv (Pesci and Daniel Stern, respectively) are just as memorable and iconic as Kevin. The pair have such an incredible relationship that makes you truly believe they’ve been breaking and entering together for years.

Nothing is more genuine than the chemistry between these two burglars, which adds a whole other level of enjoyment to the film. They’re a perfect balance of comic relief and menace and it is these elements that add a whole other level of enjoyment to the film.

            Would “Home Alone” really be anything without the magnificent traps Kevin sets up at the end? Nothing was more inspiring as a kid than watching another grade school student set up intricate, PG “Saw” traps to thwart two criminals.

Don’t lie, after watching Kevin’s craftiness, you know you wanted to do the same thing he did, and set up nasty surprises for your family all over the house. The final act of the film is so close to perfection that countless other films have ripped off the ending just to obtain a hint of its greatness. (Remember “Skyfall”?)

            The movie has much more to offer than just its bad-assery. There are morals interwoven throughout the story, such as the harmfulness of making assumptions, as shown in Kevin’s relationship with the “scary” old man character. Most prominent, however, is the theme of family and compassion, which is what Christmas time is truly about.

            You’re lying if you say you didn’t at least choke up during the ending.

            This is without a doubt the best Christmas film ever made, which is why I’d give it a whopping 5 out of 5 grizzly paws!

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‘Home Alone’ remains classic