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Home Alone: Christmas with a Golden Oldie
Home Alone Movie Poster (20th Century Fox)

“Jingle bell jingle bell jingle rock, Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring!” The bright sounds of Christmas carols have started to fill the streets. At the end of the year, there are many people who look for movies related to Christmas. As many channels offer Christmas movies, we can easily watch them during the Christmas holiday season. Among the numerous Christmas movies, Home Alone is a golden oldie that was released in 1990 and is still beloved by people all around the world. In celebration of the Christmas season and the new year, the Sungkyun Times (SKT) now reviews Home Alone.

A Brief Synopsis and Behind-the-Scenes Stories of the Movie

Brief Synopsis of Home Alone

Kevin’s family is planning to visit France for a family trip during the Christmas holiday season. However, on the day before the departure, there is a huge storm and all the power cables go down. As a result, Kevin’s family wakes up very late and they forget to bring Kevin who was sleeping in the attic. Kevin enjoys the freedom after he first realizes that there are no other family members at home. However, as time goes by, he begins to realize how precious his family are. Meanwhile, two thieves target Kevin’s house and Kevin fights back against the thieves with his thorough Thief Extermination Plan. Eventually, the two thieves are arrested and Kevin is able to be reunited with his family.

Behind-the-Scenes-Stories of the Movie

➊ On the day of departure, Kevin’s older sister mistakes a boy living in the neighborhood as Kevin and counts him as a family member causing them to leave Kevin at home. The boy living in the neighborhood who was looking around the car was a boy who had failed for the role of Kevin in the audition.

➋ There is a scene when Kevin sneaks into his older brother’s room and peeps into his treasure box. In the box, there is a picture of the older brother’s girlfriend and Kevin laughs at his brother. The art director thought that when he used the photograph of a real person, it could be offensive and hurt that person, so he made his own son dress up as a girl and used the picture of him.

➌ There is a scene when a spider crawls onto one of the thieves’ faces. To film this scene, the actor put a real spider on his face and dubbed the screaming sound after filming the scene just in case the spider became frightened.

Major Features and the Theme of the Movie

Major Features of the Movie

Kevin Looking at His Older Brother’s Girlfriend Photo (20th Century Fox)

➊ Fun Episodes from the Viewpoint of the Little Child

Kevin is an eight-year-old child who is the main character and narrator of the movie. At the beginning of the movie, he is scolded by his mom and he shouts, “I don’t want any family. Families suck! I don’t wanna see you again for the rest of my whole life” to his mom. As a punishment, he has to sleep alone in the attic and after he wakes up in the morning, he finds out that his other family members are gone and he sincerely thanks God for granting his wish. In this scene Kevin is depicted as no better than a kid believing that god granted his wish and made his family members disappear. Also, watching Kevin dancing around while cleaning the room and doing dishes made audiences recall the purity of childhood. The scenes show that daily routines that are nothing special to us could be totally different from the point of view of a little child. Furthermore, in the movie, there is a character of an old grandfather, Marley. To grown-ups, the old grandfather is recognized as an elderly person living a lonely life. However, to Kevin, Marley is viewed as a serial murderer as he is tall and has quite a scary expression. This kind of misunderstanding was generated because of the prejudice that only young children can have; however, soon Kevin resolves his misunderstanding with his warm-heart and realizes that Marley is actually a good grandfather.

A Real Spider on the Thief’s Face(20th Century Fox)

➋ Humorous but Somewhat Cruel Slapstick Traps

Another main feature of the movie is that the traps that Kevin makes to beat off thieves are depicted in detail and it takes up a big part of the movie. There are many traps such as making a frozen road in front of the front door by pouring water onto it, heating the door handle, and dropping a heated iron to the forehead of the thieves. Watching the movie at a young age children perhaps view, the traps seemed like they were just tricks to catch the thieves and maybe do not realize the cruelty of the traps. However, watching the movie again, the level of violence was much more severe than expected. Some traps were nearly on the degree of attempted murder. Considering the fact that Home Alone was released as a certificate universal that even kindergarteners can watch, the cognition toward the violence in the movie was very low back in the past, and I thought that the age restrictions toward violent and provocative movies should be strengthened.

Kevin and Marley in a Catholic Church (20th Century Fox)

A Movie with the Theme of Family Love

At the beginning of the movie, Kevin has a prejudice toward his neighbor, the grandfather Marley. A few days after Kevin is left alone in the house, Kevin visits a Catholic church to cancel his wish of making his family members disappear. In the church, Kevin happens to meet Marley and resolves his misunderstanding toward him. They had a lot of conversation together and Marley tells his story about how he had a big fight with his son a long time ago and he did not see his family for a long period of time. In the movie, there is a conversation between Kevin and Marley,

“If you miss him, why don’t you call him? / I’m afraid if I call, he won’t talk to me / How do you know? / I don’t know. I’m just afraid / No offense, but aren’t you a little bit old to be afraid? / You can be old for a lot of things. You’re never too old to be afraid. / That’s true. I was afraid of our basement. It’s dark. There’s weird stuff down there, and it smells funny. Then, I made myself go down to do some laundry and I found out it’s not so bad. All this time I’ve been worried about it, but if you turn on the lights, it’s no big deal. / What’s your point? / My point is, you should call your son / What if he won’t talk to me? / At least you’ll know. Then you could stop worrying about it. Then you won’t have to be afraid anymore. I don’t care how mad I was. I’d talk to Dad, especially around the holidays

Listening to the conversation between Kevin and Marley, I realized the preciousness of families and that small fights between family members can easily occur; however, with understanding and forgiveness toward each other, the fight can also be easily resolved. The absence of his family is the only thing that makes Kevin afraid, who is not afraid of sleeping alone in the attic and fighting with thieves or anything else. People can sometimes hurt their family members with words that are not really meant; however, these quarrels can be resolved through a sincere apology and self-reflection. Above all things, the most important thing to remember is always having the attitude to express our love to our families.

함여민  12345hym@naver.com

<저작권자 © THE SUNGKYUN TIMES, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>

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