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Leave it to the internet to turn a family classic like Home Alone into something slightly more sinister, with the right amount of subtext. Case in point, a recent fan theory has posited the possibility that Gus Polinski, the Polka King of the Midwest, is none other than the devil himself.
Yes, you read that correctly, the leader of the Kenoska Kickers is theorized to be Old Scratch himself. At least, this is what a user from Reddit has to say, as they've examined a pivotal scene in the 1990 blockbuster and broken it down to a point where a little supernatural thinking is all that it takes to turn the film's ending into the result of a satanic negotiation. Apparently, Kate McCallister's declaration of selling her soul to the devil himself, in order to be with her son, was paid in full – as John Candy's character is allegedly what's known as a "crossroads demon."
Long story short, crossroads demons make deals with humans in order to secure their souls in the name of Hell. You wish for something in our world, the demon makes a deal to make it happen, and faster than you can say "Julie Andrews," you've got your wish and a lifelong case of eternal damnation. This theory dives head first into the supposed symbology of Home Alone's Scranton airport scene to prove its point – starting with the fact that the scene takes place at the crossroads of the airport, and finishing with the fact that the Bible apparently specifies that the Devil has a fondness for woodwind instruments. Which supposedly means Gus Polinski isn't just playing to pass the time during their drive, he's celebrating a new acquisition to his collection of damned souls.
Now, if we were really to buy into this fan theory, there's two more pieces of evidence that could back up this admittedly cuckoo theory. First, pay close attention to Gus' initial interactions with Kate in the clip below, and see if you can catch the reference that could close the deal:
The classic Rolling Stones tune, "Sympathy For The Devil," starts out with the infamous line, "Please allow me to introduce myself," very similar to how Gus addresses Kate. Not to mention, another point of evidence is the fact that in yet another John Hughes movie, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, Candy plays a character who is actually depicted as The Horned One clear as day. Could the two holiday related films exist in the same universe, with the actor depicting a travel fixated demon? It's possible, but highly unlikely.
The one key point of debunking that throws this whole theory appears in the evidence originally cited in the theory's initial post. If you watch the clip that is cited in the original Home Alone theory, you'll see that John Candy's Gus starts to take notice of his supposed quarry when she mentions that she's trying to get home to her eight year old son. Any nosy person in the airport could have heard this, as Kate kicks up enough of a fuss to draw attention to herself – so this doesn't look like a case of demonic intervention, but really a concerned citizen trying to help a fellow human out. Though the greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was indeed convincing us he didn't exist, so we'll just leave the ultimate debate in your hands to decide.
Satanic or not, Home Alone is a Christmas classic that has gone down as a comedy for the ages. Even if Kate McCallister sold her soul to be home with her son, you couldn't blame her as she did what any desperate mother would do. With fan theories like this floating around the internet, it not only makes sure that a film such as this stays in the popular conversation, it also makes for interesting viewing.