Home Alone: Breaking Down All The Traps

We breakdown all the surprisingly deadly and horrific traps in perhaps the greatest Christmas movie of all time, Home Alone.

In many ways, Chris Columbus and John Hughes made the most successful Christmas movie of all time with Home Alone. Sure, there are other movies that might rank high in the pantheon for some, but in terms of box office alone, this was a juggernaut, grossing $476 million in 1990, which, adjusted for inflation, is about $1.1 BILLION in 2023. No other Christmas movie comes close to that number, and that’s not even counting how much money it made on home video, where it was one of the biggest-selling titles of all time, plus all its plays on cable, streaming and more.

Yet, it’s also a movie that would never be made now, with the film climaxing with Macaulay Culkin’s Kevin McCallister laying a series of traps for Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern’s Harry and Marv that would likely put real men in their graves. Crazy as it sounds, Home Alone would likely get an R-rating now, given how sensitive audiences have become. Don’t believe me? Did anyone try to watch Disney Plus’s lukewarm Home Sweet Home Alone, with its lukewarm traps (no maimings?) and sympathetic, misunderstood burglars? It’s a PC nightmare (with our own Jesse Shade eviscerated on Awfully Good) that shows you how tepid family fare nowadays can be when it falls under the domain of a monolithic studio like Disney.

Thankfully, Home Alone, in all its slapstick glory, still exists (along with its sequel) and is a movie we can still return to holiday after holiday. In this episode of Scene Breakdown, our host, Kier Gomes, takes a look at the movie’s slapstick climax, breaking down the surprisingly deadly traps and explaining what makes this such an irreplaceable Christmas classic. And hey – if you like it next year, we’ll come back and do Home Alone 2 (we’ll skip the others, though).

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.