The Home Alone film series, beloved by families through the decades, is a staple of the Christmas experience, like mince pies, and the Coca-cola polar bear advert. Since the first movie in 1990, little Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) has spent Christmas alone every year, while crippling would-be burglars in a series of slapstick traps to the delight of millions of viewers. In this article, we count down the five most hilarious traps young Kevin set for those pesky criminals!
5. The Blowtorch
Now widely heralded as a classic, the ‘blowtorch’ trap was an instant hit with the viewers of the first Home Alone movie. Introducing us to the precocious Kevin McCallister and his misfit family, it featured Joe Pesci as the hapless burglar of their quaint suburban home in Illinois.
Courageously fending off the villains, eight-year-old Kevin rigs a doorknob to a blowtorch attached to a nearby cupboard. Pesci’s character, Harry, the short-tempered leader of the Wet Bandits, opens the door thinking he’s out-smarted our hero. The resulting hijinks had audiences howling with joy!
4. The Riddle Bridge
The difficult second film, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, was kept interesting by moving the action to New York City. Kevin, now ten years old, gets on the wrong flight and ends up in the Big Apple instead of with his family in Florida. Little does he know that those pesky villains from two years ago are also in the city, and looking to get revenge!
Using his celebrated wit and a clever disguise, Kevin keeps the Wet Bandits at bay with a set of fiendish riddles. The price of failure is being flung off the bridge (probably Brooklyn Bridge?) into the volcano, as we see when that bird-brained Harry doesn’t know the capital of Assyria. It was ‘Assur’, Harry, you fool! Lol!
And then it was moved to Nimrud, before Sargun II moved it again to Dur Sarukin, and finally they all agreed to just dump it in Nineveh. You idiot, Harry, lol!
3. The Pit
Home Alone 4: A Very Buffalo Bill Christmas moved the action yet again, this time going from state to state, as that urchin Kevin kidnaps women while entranced by the beauty of their skin and his burgeoning and complex gender identity issues. Although a profound and moving film, HA4 didn’t scrimp on the laughs, like in the famous Pit scene!
Catherine Martin, played by the very funny Brooke Smith, is abducted by the 25 year old Kevin, who houses her in a dry well, feeding her with a bucket on a rope. The tables turn in dramatic fashion when Catherine barters for her life in exchange for Kevin’s dog, Precious, with hilarious consequences!
2. The Beartrap
Like most kids, Kevin just wants to have fun. His catchphrase, “I want to play a game”, was heard in every playground after the release of Home Alone 7: I Know What You Did Last Christmas, and children took to leaving replicas of Kevin’s amusing puppet on a tricycle in the bedrooms of their wide-eyed parents.
The most famous trap from HA7 is obviously The Beartrap. Amanda Young, played by the hysterical Shawnee Smith, doesn’t really appreciate her life, so that impish Kevin (32), decides to give her the Christmas gift of a lust for living. With her jaws in a bear trap she has to extract the key from the stomach of her still-living cellmate before the infernal device rips her face in two!
1. The entire ‘Running Man’ complex
By Home Alone 12: The Quest For Peace, Kevin McCallister is the lone voice of sanity in a dystopian America. He decides to bring joy back to the dessicated public by staging the greatest show in the world. Because it’s Christmas.
Ben Richards, played with a comedy accent by the politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, escapes a labour camp after being sent there for the senseless massacre of innocent civilians. Despite his 54 venerable years, Kevin manages to apprehend him and invites him to participate in the ‘Running Man’ show, where he’ll face a gauntlet of hilarious obstacles and larger-than-life opponents. Richards gets in the holiday spirit and agrees, and we all learn a little something about life.
Not only was this the jolt of energy the series needed after the abysmal Home Alone 11: The Quickening, it instantly vaulted to the top as a hugely ambitious socio-political slapstick comedy, and the best Home Alone trap that scamp Kevin ever cooked up!
Merry Christmas, everyone!