Home Alone has been considered a classic and a Christmas tradition since the moment Macaulay Culkin slapped those childishly handsome cheeks and yelled at the top of his lungs all the way back in 1990, but seeing the John Hughes written and Chris Columbus directed picture develop into a franchise of straight-to-video/dvd glorified holiday specials has given the franchise the proverbial “mixed bag” of good and bad filmmaking. In this edition of Ranked, we’re looking at all 5 of Home Alone movies (yes there have been 5) and judging them in terms of quality, enjoyability, critical reception and public perception to rank each from worst to best.
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5. Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
The fourth entry to the franchise is nothing short of a disaster.
A clear cash grab intended to capitalise on the burgeoning DVD market, this Rod Daniel (K-9) straight-to-TV feature recasts the iconic roles of Kevin McCallister (once played by Macaulay Culkin) and Marv (originally Daniel Stern) and, as if that wasn’t sacrilegious enough, takes the concept to an entirely different level of absurd. Seriously, if you thought a child defending his house from fully grown men via a series of booby traps was absurd, wait ’til you get a load of this…
In Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House, Kevin McCallister must ignore the instructions of his parents and rescue a crown prince from his old foe Marv and Marv’s wife Vera.
It truly is as bad as it seems…
4. Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
Home Alone 5 (The Holiday Heist) thankfully didn’t regurgitate the great characters from the first Home Alone in some lame attempt to gather an audience, but much like our previous entry did seem like a film written before the Home Alone branding was ever slapped on it.
In many ways another sorry attempt to grab cash from willing and hopeful consumers, rather than a fitting tribute or loving extension to the Home Alone franchise, The Holiday Heist did actually offer brief glimmers of being something more than that of the franchise’s previous incarnation, notably upping the casting quality to include the legendary Ed Asner (albeit in a cameo) and A Clockwork Orange actor Malcolm McDowell.
The movie was directed by Peter Hewitt, the man who helmed Bill & Ted’s Bogus Adventure just a year after the original Home Alone was released and later directed the absurd British children’s comedy Thunderpants (2002), his work on The Holiday Heist at least attempting to replicate some of the feeling of the first few movies, albeit quite poorly.