Somewhere in moviegoers' memories, Christmas always involves just a little bit of pain. That’s because thanks to the Macaulay Culkin originated franchise Home Alone, there are some of us who see that time of year as a moment where we defend what has to be defended. Now a new generation is going to be acquainted with such a notion, as Home Sweet Home Alone is going to debut soon on Disney+. And this next round sees Ellie Kemper embracing her villainous side, while still involving some A+ references to the McCallister family from the originals.
Home Sweet Home Alone has a basic setup for your classic Home Alone movie, as Max (Jojo Rabbit's Archie Yates) has been accidentally abandoned by his family for Christmas vacation. However, the big differences are already present in this first look at the “reimagining” of the 1990 John Hughes/Chris Columbus classic. With Max being extremely engineering savvy, and Ellie Kemper dragging Rob Delaney around to try and rob this new house of horrors, it’s not just a rehash of past traps. Plus this time, Devin Ratray’s Buzz McCallister looks like he’s a good guy, as he’s now a police officer!
While there’s always room for a twist that could see Buzz actually in on the heist, that doesn’t feel like the sort of spin Home Sweet Home Alone is aiming for. Rather, Archie Yates’ Max seems to embody the change that this reimagining is longing to achieve. With a more technologically inclined protagonist in the lead, this latest combination of bone crunching comedy and sweet family togetherness seems to be playing the classics in the name of erasing the three Macaulay Culkin-less sequels that came in the series. Apologies to Scarlett Johansson and her big break in Home Alone 3.
Casting the normally lovable Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney as the new villains in the series is another shrewd move in Home Sweet Home Alone’s arsenal. With the stars that made comedy gold in The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well landing an iconic Deadpool 2 cameo, trading in their nice facades for some quick loot, the humor definitely looks like a high point of the film. Which, ultimately, makes all of the pratfalls and traps all the more satisfying.
And isn’t that what Home Sweet Home Alone should be about? If we’re going to spend another Christmas in the trenches, shouldn’t those trenches be as treacherous as possible? Director Dan Mazer certainly seems to think so, as new traps and devices like that falling icicle trap, or the billiard ball launcher, might make even Kevin McCallister wince. Then again, this is the kid who some fans have compared to John Rambo, so he’d probably go back to smiling with pride after a mere second of pity.
Like the trailer says, “holiday classics were meant to be broken.” So who knows what Home Sweet Home Alone will do, when it premieres on Disney+ Day’s November 12th lineup! Though if you’re not a subscriber yet, check out The Disney Bundle, which will grant you access to that platform, Hulu, and ESPN+ for one singular subscription. And if it helps sweeten the deal, that’s the same date Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings premieres on Disney+; so you and your family will be set for the day’s entertainment.
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Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.