My House Brings all the Burglars to the Yard Darn Right, It’s Better Than Yours

Home Alone is an average family Christmas movie directed by Chris Columbus. This is a story of an eight year old child, who is accidentally left at home during a holiday vacation, that is forced to defend his home from two burglars. The best part of this film is the fact that the film is a comedy. In my opinion, the best scene in this film was when Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) and Marley (Roberts Blossom) were sitting in the church talking to one another. Kevin encouraged Marley to talk to his son and to reconcile their differences. This is a turning point for Kevin, it not only shows the audience that he is growing up, but it also shows him facing his own fears. In the meantime, he learns a valuable lesson, things are not always what they appear to be.

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Without a doubt, Macaulay Culkin (Kevin McCallister) gave the best performance in this film. Not only was he the protagonist, but he was also a child when the movie was filmed. He was a wonderful actor in this film. He was an actor that the audience believed. The wide-angle camera shots let me, as the viewer, know everything that was happening while the characters were rushed. The point-of- view camera angles let me see what the characters see and it let me know what they are feeling. These angles helped me view the situations as a small child would. At times Macaulay Culkin (Kevin) looked sad, happy, and scared and I believed him. Macaulay Culkin (Kevin) looked terrified when he first heard Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) trying to break in his home.

Home Alone is not a perfect film or even close to it for that matter. This film used very little color schemes and had several goofs that could have been easily fixed. Some of the goofs  include Kevin aiming with the wrong eye while shooting toys down the laundry chute, Kevin running straight in his home after meeting the old man at the church (He did not lock his door even though there are burglars in the area.), and the phone lines are supposed to be down due to the power outage. So, how did Kevin order pizza? How did his mom call the local police to get them to check on Kevin? Home Alone is also not the worst film that I have ever seen. It made me laugh and the story was not complete trash. However, this film is one of the worst films that I have recently viewed. What grade would I give this film? My gut feeling for this film as of now is 80 due to the lack of color scheme and the several major goofs.  

Chris Columbus has created many great movies over the years. A few of his most popular moves include Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Night at the museum, Pixels, and Gremlins. I personally feel that Home Alone is one of his better films. This film has a better story than the film Pixels. The audience learns more about the main characters in Home Alone than in the film Pixels. In my opinion, the Harry Potter films rank at the top of the list for Columbus. Harry Potter films have amazing story lines and set designs. For example, the Harry Potter films are mystical the set designs were realistic. Such as using the Alnwick Castle in England for Hogwarts.

When rating Columbus’ films on a scale of 1-10, I would rate Home Alone a solid eight. Even though this is a great family comedy, it does have faults. This film lacks color scheme and contains many recognizable goofs, as mentioned above, that could have been easily fixed without spending lots of extra money. If you’re looking for a good family film to watch near the holidays this film may be for you. It contains very few curse words.  

John Hughes only created four interesting characters,  Kevin, Harry, Marv, and Marley. The most interesting character that John Hughes created was Kevin. Kevin is a mischievous eight-year-old child that is always into something. In the beginning of the film Kevin was fighting with his brother Buzz (Devin Ratray), running from burglars, and even setting up traps to defend his home. The dialogue did not appear to be fake or forced. For example, when Kevin was talking to Marley in the church it seemed like a normal conversation between a child and an adult. Children often give some of the best advice because they do not have a filter. They repeat conversations that they have overheard between adults. Children do not know what to keep private, so they often tell it all. Even though their comments may be a little hurtful, their input can often help.

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In this film, plot twists were easily predictable. I knew that Kevin was going to get left at home. He was locked in the attic, then when the family had overslept was rushing around trying to make it to the airport on time. We could assume that they would forget Kevin. Some of the conflicts in this film seemed real such as Kevin having to take care of himself and him being scared. I do feel that an eight year old could not set up traps to the extent seen in this film. I also believe that Harry could have made it up to the icy steps easier than he did. I felt humor and suspense while watching this film. During the scenes when kevin was defending his home, the film crew used many different camera angles. Point of view shots, low angle, and medium close up camera angles were used. These angles made me feel as if I were in the film and made the film more humorous. The stupidity of the burglars is what made me laugh. I felt the suspense building when Kevin was inside his home with the burglars.

Macaulay Culkin (Kevin), Joe Pesci (Harry), Daniel Stern (Marv), and Roberts Blossom (Marley) did an amazing job acting based off of the roles in which their characters played. They made me believe that they were experiencing what the character was experiencing in the film. Catherine O’Hara (Kevin’s mother Kate) also did an amazing job acting. She looked worried and scared when she figured out that Kevin was home alone. John Heard (Kevin’s father Peeter) gave the worst performance in the film, he did not look worried when he learned that Kevin had been left at home alone. He also did not seem to care as much as Kevin’s mom.

The stars did not appear to try anything new or expand on their acting range.  Culkin (Kevin), Joe Pesci (Harry), and Daniel Stern (Marv) acted the same as in the film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Kevin was still the same smart and  mischievous child and Macaulay Culkin acted like it. Harry and Marv were still the same old burglars, but the were a little smarter. They had more knowledge about Kevin’s traps.

I was drawn to Kevin. He was a child that could booby trap an entire home in a short amount of time. I was also drawn to Kevin because he is the protagonist and the story is based on him and what he does to protect his home. The characters in this film seemed real and they did all seem to fit into the plot. There was a family, in the neighborhood, who went on vacation and intentionally left their child at home. Even though this is bad parenting, it does seem kind of normal, as he was an older child. The burglars fit in because the homes get burglarized every day, especially when they are aware of a family vacation. The burglars drove around in a van that looked very similar to the other maintenance vans in that appeared in the neighborhood.

While watching the beginning film I was more absorbed into my food and snacks. The film appeared to be on a chaotic family that needed to calm down. There was way to much going on to hold my interest. However, as the plot began to build, there were less distractions and the house became calmer. This is when I became absorbed into the film. The universal theme of love and fear are the major themes in Home Alone. Throughout this film Kevin is constantly scared of the old man, Marley, and the burglars, Harry and Marv. Kevin faced his fears, talked to Marly, and fought the burglars. Kevin realized that he actually loves his family and missed them. He realized that being mean to them is not a good thing to do. I did feel a sense of truth from the characters in the film. The actors made me  believe that they felt every emotion that the character felt. While watching this film, I felt the sadness of Kevin being scared and alone and the sheer panic of his terrified mother who realized that she had done the unimaginable, left her child home alone.

If I were to have a conversation with a friend about this movie, it would definitely be about Kevin’s amazing home-made defense mechanisms. I would discuss how they proved to be helpful and what he could have improved. I find it amazing that an eight year old child would even think about pulling off some of the booby traps such as the fan with the feathers, the hot door knob, and the tar on the steps.

Overall, I feel that this film did have a good pace except during the first few scenes. I do realize that the first scenes were designed to be chaotic so the viewer could get a view of Kevin’s life. The music in the film also went with the film. For example, when the Mcallisters are running through the airport the song “Run Run Rudolph” plays to help set the chaotic mood. The major technical aspect that this film was lacking is color theory. There were very few color references and those may have even been unintentional. The special effects could also use some work, especially with the scene where the burglars were breaking into the house. The booby traps, that the burglars endured, did not add up with all of the battle wounds that was endured and pictured in the film. If you pause the file you can see Marv being hit in the forehead with the back of the iron. The marks, on his face, showed that he was hit directly on the face. When Harry grabbed the hot door handle, he grabbed it with his hand at an angle but his wound was not at an angle.

Overall, Home Alone is a good film about an eight year-old child, Kevin. Kevin was accidentally left at home alone. Kevin realized that he must act quickly to defend not only himself but his home from burglars.Kevin is very clever and  quickly sets up multiple traps to defend his home against the burglars. Will his traps succeed? Will they capture him, or will he ever see his family again?

The most appealing aspect to this film is how the camera angles tell the story. The film crew used wide angle shots, point of view shots, low angle shots, medium close up shots, and low angle shots. These shots and angles helped tell the story mainly through the eyes of Kevin which made the story more realistic engaging more viewers. The only scene that I would discard would be the scene where Kevin was trying to buy a toothbrush. The film leads the viewers to believe that Kevin is stealing the toothbrush, when in fact he intended to buy the toothbrush. Kevin is not a bad child nor is he a thief as the film portrays. He was just acting in fear.

Over all the film Home Alone was an okay film. It is not the best I have seen from Chris Columbus but it is certainly not the worst film that I have ever seen. This film had a good story line, developed characters, and good acting. The film did contain several goofs that could have been easily fixed such as the injuries from Kevin’s traps.

Taking every aspect of filmmaking into consideration, I would give this film a rating of 87. This film lacked color theory which was very disappointing to me. However, the camera angles added to the humor and the story in general. The MPAA rating for this film is PG. I believe that this is an appropriate rating for this film. I do not believe that children under eight should view this film because of the violence, language, and the possibility of creating added anxiety. This film could possibly make children scared to stay at home alone for short periods of time.

Summary

It is Christmas time and the McCallister family are preparing for their trip to Paris. Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) gets into a fight with Buzz, his brother (Devin Ratray) which gets him locked in that attic for the night. The family oversleeps making them rush to the airport so they do not miss their flight. They completely forget about Kevin, who is now home alone. Kevin is having fun being home alone, eating pizza, running rampant, and making a mess until he realizes that he misses his family and wants them back home. One night Kevin discovers some burglars, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) trying to break into his home. Kevin realizes that he must act quickly to protect his home. He frantically sets up traps in order to ward off the burglars. Will his traps succeed? Will they capture him, or will he ever see his family again?

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