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As a kid, watching Home Alone served as a kind of awesome wish fulfillment. Didn’t we all want to be the one rising to the occasion, protecting and defending our own homes without adults butting their stupid heads in? Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister got to live out this dream and used his smarts to outfox a pair of dimwitted home invaders. To celebrate his momentous achievement, and our undying love for the film, we’re counting down our top five favorite Home Alone booby traps.
When young Kevin’s family accidentally left home by himself over the Christmas holiday, he learns some valuable lessons about self-reliance, being careful what you wish for, and appreciating what you have while you can. Oh, and, most importantly, he’s a quick study when it comes to improvised home security, which comes in handy when the Wet Bandits, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, target his house.
As it turns out, Kevin is a ruthless little bastard with a penchant for inflicting grievous bodily harm on his enemies (makes you wonder where he wound up in life). It’s a good thing that the Wet Bandits appear to be near invincible—instead of actually dying, they’re simply left wishing that they were dead after tangling with Kevin and his arsenal of booby traps and absorbing copious amounts of physical abuse. From superheated doorknobs to falling irons to nails on the stairs (that one still makes me cringe), Kevin wages an all out guerilla war against the invaders. He even gets an assist from his trusty pet tarantula, and, of course, who can forget the blow torch, that is just straight up vicious.
It’s hard to believe that Home Alone turns 25 this year, but you know, we still haven’t got tired of bumbling robbers getting hit in the face with flying paint cans, shot in the junk with a bb gun, or being lit on fire, and I don’t think we ever will.