The Disney + Home Sweet Home Alone movie trailer is really something. In it, a large and chaotic family tie together before a vacation in Tokyo only to discover that, in their haste, they accidentally left one of their children behind. As they scramble home, the boy is on his own – a danger that is only compounded when two devious burglars choose his home to rob him. What follows is an orgy of cartoonish violence as the abandoned boy jerry-rigs a selection of household items to cause maximum damage to intruders. Brilliant.
Basically, then, Home Sweet Home Alone seems to exist to answer a simple question: what if Home Alone was, uh, Home Alone?
Because by all accounts, it is. Judging by the trailer, Home Sweet Home Alone is home alone. The characters are the same. The plot is the same. Everything about it will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever watched the original 1990 version of Home Alone. The problem, of course, is that the original 1990 version of Home Alone was a perfect movie that was played from a perfect script by a perfect cast. Unless Home Sweet Home Alone is the end result of a decades-long scientific expedition to grind fine grains to a new perfection that were previously invisible to the naked eye, then it’s hard to see what it’s for. .
Disney’s official synopsis for Home Sweet Home Alone doesn’t really help either. “Max Mercer is a mischievous and resourceful young boy who has been left behind while his family is in Japan for the holidays,” one read. “So when a married couple attempting to reclaim a priceless inheritance sets their sights on the Mercer family home, it’s up to Max to protect it from intruders… and he’ll do everything in his power to keep them from.” enter. Hilarious hijinks of epic proportions ensue, but despite the utter chaos, Max realizes that there really is no place like the home sweet home.
I don’t want to smear the good folks at Disney, but how did this project get through the development and production process without anyone patting someone else’s shoulder and whispers, “Hey, I don’t want to worry? , but I think this movie could literally be Home Alone. I mean it’s completely the same. If it comes out in the world and people see it, we’ll be the laughing stock ”?
And it’s not even as if the Home Alone format is particularly rigid. Take a look at Home Alone 2, which was Home Alone but with an entire city instead of a house. Or Home Alone 3, which was Home Alone but with North Korean terrorists instead of the Wet Bandits. Or Home Alone 4, which was Home Alone but with a weird divorce subplot. Or even 2012’s Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, which was Home Alone but with ghosts instead of people. See? It is easy to do. All of these films are home alone at heart, but with one element just tweaked enough to make it look new.
Not Home Sweet Home Alone, however. Unless the trailer hides a huge secret plot point – like the boy has a cartoon dog’s best friend, or the movie ends with his murder – then Home Sweet Home Alone is just Home Alone. It’s just Home Alone, although this is a version of Home Alone where the abandoned child has enough practical knowledge of the Scarface movie to put together a parody sequence, the creepy old man is statistically very likely to being played by 30 Rock and Buzz McCallister’s Dr Spaceman is now apparently a cop. And, yes, the latter certainly makes some sense, but not enough to save an entire movie.
Part of me wants to give Home Sweet Home Alone the benefit of the doubt. Part of me wants to hope that the writers, Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell, haven’t just ripped off the original John Hughes script, by searching and replacing on a few key character names. Part of me wants to hope that Disney isn’t so incredibly cowardly that they’re willing to water down the appeal of an all-time great Christmas movie for nothing more than a few fistfuls of dirty dollars. But it’s a very small part of me, and I think it just got crushed. Home Sweet Home Alone will be released next month. You should probably be looking at Home Alone instead.