20
Dec 04

THE ADVENT CALENDAR OF CHRISTMAS FILMS 20: Home Alone

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aka Edvard Munch?s The Scream in film form. How much of a selling point was the cute moppet, head in hands, yelling. This is an idiosyncratic gesture considering the plot of the film. Certainly being left behind leaves Mac in a tough spot, but even when the burglars turn up he always has the upper hand. Be it laying down his little dainty man traps made of matchbox cars, or organising a timed to precision splatting of Joe Pesci, panic is well outside his arsenal of emotions.

The joy of being the master of your own destiny is implicit in the Home Alone films (perhaps more so in the less simple but more magical Home Alone 2: Lost In New York). Indeed whilst the title has become short-hand for horrific tales of child neglect, this comes straight from the school of the “kids are smarter than the adults” world of fiction. And at the heart that funny looking kid, Macauley Culkin, happily taking centre stage without a coterie of friends or family. Perhaps as a metaphor for the lonely child at Christmas Culkin gives hope to the increasingly small family sizes these days. Every era deserves the child star it gets. The early nineties got Culkin to show that it was okay to panic before you sorted everything out.

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