Awfully Good: Home Alone 4

Home Alone 4 (2002)

Director: Rod Daniel
Stars: French Stewart, Joanna Going, Missi Pyle

Is there a plot?

Seriously, shouldn't this kid be in Child Protective Services by now?

What's the damage?

I was just a child when the first two HOME ALONE movies came out and to say the fantasy of no adult supervision and extreme cartoon violence thrilled me was an understatement. I was obsessed. And ever the aspiring filmmaker, I had detailed sequels planned out for HOME ALONE 3, 4 and 5. The third one introduced me as a secondary main character to team up with Kevin McCallister. In #4 everyone went to Hawaii (I’m 100% not kidding; ask my dad), while HOME ALONE 5: THE RETURN brought the action back home to close out the series. I only share this embarrassing story because I’m sure the terrible planned sequels my 7 year old brain concocted are still better than this garbage movie that a group of real adults made.

“Hi, I’m the vaguely ethnic, non-threatening, well-spoken supporting character you ordered.”

HOME ALONE 3 understood the statistical improbability of the same child a) being left by his parents a third time and b) encountering the same two robbers (who theoretically should be in prison), and instead focused on another discarded crimefighting kid. However, against all odds, HOME ALONE 4: TAKING BACK THE HOUSE brings back Kevin McCalister for one last go-around. This time though, Kevin’s parents are divorced (I guess abandoning your child more than once takes its toll on your marriage) and the film opens with a serious discussion about broken families during the holidays, while the main character watches old home videos of happier times. Merry Christmas audience!

Is he talking about his career or just this movie in particular? Because it could be both, honestly.

By this point, the rest of Kevin’s extended family has also either died of malnourishment or been left at random houses, since he now only has one sister and brother Buzz, who for some reason has devolved in to a tiny ginger. Fed up with his siblings and once again feuding with his mom, Kevin aspires to be isolated in his residence and gets his wish—sort of. Despite his family’s presence, the 9 year old is able to “run away” by calling and taking a taxi—no questions asked—to his dad’s house without anybody noticing or caring. Kevin’s father is now dating a young, hot, unbelievably rich woman who lives in a giant automated “smart” house where everything is voice activated. Dad is getting ready to propose to his new sugar mama, but since this is a crappy family movie I’ll let you guess how that ends up. The script also tries hard to paint the stepmom as an evil bitch so you’ll root against her, but she’s really not that bad. Kevin destroys her billion-dollar, technologically advanced house more than once and she barely scolds him. I feel like most judicial systems would allow kid-murder in situations like that.

Kids can be so rude at Chuck E. Cheese.

Because of her wealth, the dad’s girlfriend is hosting the British royal family at her house, a perfect opportunity for some ne’er-do-well to kidnap the young prince. Enter beloved wet/sticky bandit Marv! Instead of the great Daniel Stern, this time around we’re subjected to French Stewart playing Marv, despite the fact that he dresses and acts just like Harry. (Did the filmmakers not even watch the original movies?!) And instead of Joe Pesci, Marv is partnered with his new wife Vera (played by GALAXY QUEST’s Missi Pyle). Together, the two inept criminals attempt to break in to the house and steal children, but little do they know that by now, Kevin pretty much has a doctorate degree in booby traps, electrical engineering and sorcery.

A shot from the “Extreme Cunninlingus” segment of JACKASS XXX.

Because magic is the only way to explain some of the stuff the little brat pulls off in this movie, like turning on a shower to spray the bad guys in the face, which somehow immediately floods the entire house with thousands of gallons of water. (Everything is also mysteriously dry and clean in the next scene.) Sadly the traps and attacks in HOME ALONE 4 are unmemorable and few and far between. But don’t worry, there’s at least four musical montages, each worse than the last, to kill you time.

“Things I'd Rather Be Doing” for $100, Alex.

It also doesn’t help that the kid that plays Kevin this time around has got to be one of the most annoying young actors since Jake Lloyd. I really don’t like to encourage child abuse, but Kevin McCallister really just needs to be punched in the face for most of this movie. And not just because of the writing, which is atrocious (at one point, a trapped Kevin uses his remaining cell phone battery to call his mom instead of the police), but just because Michael Weinberg plays him like a cocky arrogant prick and does a bad job at it. When I side with French Stewart, you know the other choice has to be pretty bad.

Oh, and at no point in this movie is the main character home alone. There’s always a family member, friend, or entire staff of butlers and servants around. Why hast thou forsaken us, Macauly?

"Best" Line

At least these references to the other HOME ALONE movies suggest someone involved with this production actually saw them.

"Best" Parts

1) A couple of Kevin McCallister’s terrible booby traps. (Pay attention to how much water comes out of that showerhead.)

2) Tell me this spoiled, annoying kid doesn't deserved to be punched in the face repeatedly.

Nudity Watch

Apparently nobody here takes their pants off when they’re home alone. Must just be me.


Make Raja Gosnell look good by comparison! Buy this movie here!

Play Along at Home!

Take a shot or drink every time:

  • Someone yells “KEVIN!”
  • There’s a wacky sound effect
  • There’s a music montage
  • Someone gets it in the nuts
  • Someone watches old home movies

Double shot when:

  • Someone watches IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
  • Marv’s mom is inexplicably British

Need some more Christmas cheer? Grab some spiked eggnog and get in the spirit of the season with the rest of our Awfully Good holiday movies:

Surviving Christmas: Tony Soprano hits Ben Affleck with a Christmas shovel.
Santa Claws: It's a scream queen Christmas for Debbie Rochon.
Christmas Caper: Shannen Doherty's been a bad girl this year.
Bikini Bloodbath Christmas: 'Tis the season for some pleasin'!
Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie destroys a classic.
Reindeer Games: Ben Affleck bones Charlize Theron in the spirit of the season.
Fred Claus: Vince Vaughn is a dick to Christmas.
Santa Paws: St. Nick's dog scars children.
Puppetmaster vs. Demonic Toys: Corey Feldman vs. Farting Christmas Baby.
Ernest Saves Christmas: Jim Varney plays with Santa's sack.
Deck The Halls: Danny DeVito naked and incest jokes.
Christmas Evil: Mommy does more than kiss Santa Claus.
Santa Clause 3: Martin Short terrifies children.
Santa Claus Conquers The Martians: Santa battles cheap production values.
Jack Frost (1998): Michael Keaton is a dead snowman.
Jack Frost (1996): Frosty rapes Shannon Elizabeth.
Jingle All The Way: Arnold punches reindeer for toys.
Santa's Slay: St. Nick murders Fran Drescher.

Seen a movie that should be featured on this column? Shoot Jason an email or follow him on Twitter and give him an excuse to drink.

Source: Digital Dorm
Tags: awfully good



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