There are a lot of bad remakes in cinema history. Psycho (1998) and Old Boy (2013) regularly top lists of the worst ones of all time. Enter Home Sweet Home Alone. Could this be a new worst contender? If it doesn’t make the Razzies shortlist this year, I’ll be very surprised. The thing is, I don’t even have much of an attachment to the original Home Alone movies. I enjoyed them, sure, but I didn’t really grow up adoring them as much as most did… and yet, I still thought this reboot missed the mark exponentially.
Home Sweet Home Alone‘s storyline is basically the exact same as the first Macaulay Culkin classic, barring one or two tweaks. Sweet kid Max (Archie Yates of Jojo Rabbit fame) is accidentally left home on his own by his mother’s babysitter at Christmas. While his family are all in Tokyo, Max stays alone in a big house and is having the time of his life, until two apparently crazed home invaders threaten his solitary existence. This time, rather than the invaders being two burglars, they’re a married couple played by Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney who seem to think that Max stole a doll from their house which is rumoured to be worth thousands of dollars. When the duo attempt to recover their missing valuable, they become the brunt of numerous booby traps set up within the house by Max himself.
So yeah. If you read the above synopsis, you’ll see that this is pretty much an exact copy of the original, except it’s much, much less successful. In the end, the only question I had was “why?” Why remake this? Why now? Why even mess with something that is so beloved? It’s only going to end badly, right?
Home Sweet Home Alone could not be a more obviously easy pay day for this whole cast. Did anyone really want to be there? Did Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper really need to add this to their acting resumes or were they there for a quick buck? I mean, we all know the answers to these questions, but someone should tell little Archie Yates that this movie is beneath even him, despite not having all that many credits to his name just yet.
Honestly, the worst thing about this is that it all just feels like a feeble attempt at a re-hash of the original, and that’s exactly why Home Alone 3 is less than fondly remembered. There’s absolutely nothing new here, the first half is a huge mess that shouldn’t have been as hard to follow as it was, and the second half is… at least mildly entertaining but it’s way too sickly sweet, even for a Christmas movie. The ending actually makes me shudder just thinking about it.
With a few adjustments here and there, I’m sure this film wouldn’t be so terrible. However, it has so many problems that it’s hard to look past them. For instance, making the “villains” actual normal people who are just trying to do their best for their family makes seeing them get hit with so much violence way less funny. If they were replaced with Joe Pesci then maybe I’d be tempted to give it 3 stars. Kemper and Delaney do bring something to it and do their best, but it’s just not the same.
What I’m saying is, the world didn’t need this movie in the first place and I’m sure the world will have forgotten about it altogether by 2022. At least I laughed four or five times I guess? However, what made me laugh more than this entire movie is one Letterboxd user who claimed that Home Sweet Home Alone caused climate change.
Home Sweet Home Alone is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.
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Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½