Home Sweet Home Alone is an awful Disney+ release

Home Sweet Home Alone is a direct sequel to the Home Alone franchise. Devin Ratray reprises his role as Buzz McAllister from the original films.

Photo Credit: Photo via Disney+ under Creative Commons License

Home Sweet Home Alone is a direct sequel to the Home Alone franchise. Devin Ratray reprises his role as Buzz McAllister from the original films.

By: Joseph Sanfilippo, Managing Editor of Entertainment and Media

Home Alone is a timeless Christmas classic. Kevin McAllister is universally known as the mischievous child who had to defend himself twice from two dimwitted plumbers. Disney acquired 20th Century Fox on March 20, 2019. Fans were worried Disney would ruin some of our beloved franchises like Home Alone. Unfortunately, our nightmare came true.

On August 6, 2019, Bob Iger (former CEO) announced that a new film in the Home Alone franchise was coming to Disney+. In December of that year, Archie Yates was announced as the movie’s equivalent of McAllister. The film follows a new quick-witted child named Max. His family is heading to Tokyo for a Christmas trip. His family ends up forgetting him, but Max must deal with more chaos as two neighbors believe he stole an antique from them.

Feel like I’ve seen this before

Where do I begin with this? Home Sweet Home Alone suffers from odd pacing, weak dialogue, and unmemorable characters. I honestly felt this was made as a way to Disney market they bought Fox. Home Sweet Home Alone doesn’t capture what was great about the original. The creative team doesn’t even manage to develop Max as a memorable character. It’s so infuriating because he seems like a carbon copy of Kevin.

Home Alone was great because of its entertainment value. Home Sweet Home Alone lacks a unique screenplay

Burglars to married couple

Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney star as Max’s two neighbors. Both characters are awfully bland with little to offer. I respect the filmmaker’s perspective on making the burglars a married couple, but that’s the only creative aspect of this film. 

In the original, it was easy to sympathize with young Kevin because the “Wet Bandit Burglars” were trying to rob his home. Obviously the audience wouldn’t sympathize with criminals. In this case, the “bad guys” are a married couple who can’t afford their home any longer because the husband has lost his job. It is challenging to truly view them as the “bad guys” when they are hard on their luck and feel they have been robbed.

Lack of creativity and humor

Even the traps weren’t creative enough. I feel like we’ve seen traps similar to the original film.

In addition to the creativity, the character interactions were awkward. Some of the minor characters spurred out really corny jokes or just blatantly bizarre lines that didn’t incorporate the tone of the scene.

Criticizing the acting

Although Max was a flawed character, I liked Archie Yates’ performance. I felt like he was able to capture the charisma of the Kevin McAllister archetype. Other than that, the other actors did not stick with me.

It can be a daunting task to remake a classic. People will always make comparisons. But in this instance, it is like comparing a mansion and a tool shed. This reboot is a failure. It’s one thing to make a family movie, but I didn’t see any real effort in the film. Forget the fact that this movie is missing the Christmas spirit as well. 

I’d definitely recommend watching the original for Christmas. As Variety Critic Courtney Howard stated, “Mean-spirited, downright sloppy and awkwardly unfunny, this rote feature reboot lacks holiday cheer.”