There’s A Super ‘Meta’ Home Sweet Home Alone Joke That Plays Homage To The Original

Many of us have seen the original Home Alone movie so many times we can quote it front to back, so it’s easier than usual to compare the original to Disney+’s Home Sweet Home Alone. The new movie brings the 1990 concept into the 21st century as Jojo Rabbit breakout star Archie Yates defends his home from two invaders during the holidays. But, of course, the opportunity to reference the classic was too good, especially, when it comes to calling back to the black and white gangster movie Kevin McCallister loves to pop on. 

CinemaBlend had the chance to speak to Home Sweet Home Alone director Dan Mazer about playing tribute to the 1990 original. He shared one reference in particular that he especially loved putting his own stamp on for the Disney+ movie. In his words:

When we approached this, we wanted to make sure we played affectionate homage to the original and didn’t want to pretend that it didn’t exist but wanted it to feel kind of unique and new and fresh and a whole new iteration of it thirty years later on. Something that appeared in both the originals was the Angel With Dirty Faces movie and we thought, how can we reinvent that, so we made it kind of science fiction-y and I think there’s a great line from Hunter as he watches it, who says ‘I don’t know why they bother trying remake these classics, they are never as good as the originals.’ Which I think was kind of an acknowledgement that there will be some people who will perhaps question our decision to head back into the Home Alone universe. So, it’s a slightly meta joke there.

About 20 minutes into Home Sweet Home Alone, there’s a funny beat that sees some of the McKenzie family sitting down to watch TV as what looks to be some science fiction movie repeats the same lines from the movie Kevin watches in Home Alone. The movie we see in the 1990 movie that aids Kevin in scaring off outsiders is a fake movie called Angels With Filthy Souls, which is a parody of a real 1938 gangster movie, Angels With Dirty Faces

Angels With Filthy Souls reference in Home Sweet Home Alone

(Image credit: Disney)

In the sequence, one of the characters cries out that it’s “garbage,” commenting that he’s not sure why they’re always remaking the classics because they are never as good as the originals. It’s obviously a funny beat because Home Sweet Home Alone itself is a remake of a classic. It comes off a bit self aware that yes, the Disney+ movie isn’t trying to upstage the classic and perhaps knows exactly what it is. 

Director Dan Mazer is aware of some of the criticism of Home Sweet Home Alone, and a joke like this illustrates that he’s okay with calling it out. As he shared, he wanted to acknowledge that side of the movie along with creating a fun homage to the holiday movie beloved by many. 

Many critics have been unkind to Home Sweet Home Alone for this reason. These days it seems like movies like Home Alone are being revisited all the time simply because studios know it will draw in a crowd. Whether the new Home Alone struck your fancy or not, it’s great to see the production had a sense of humor as it brought back one especially fun element to the narrative with a sci-fi remake of Angels With Filthy Souls

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.