‘Home Sweet Home Alone’: a disappointing retelling of a holiday classic


Archie Yates as Max in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by courtesy of Disney+. © 2021 20th Century Studios.”

“Home Sweet Home Alone” was released Nov. 12 on Disney+, a reboot of the beloved ‘90s holiday film franchise “Home Alone” starring Macaulay Caulkin. 

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This film is filled with millennial and generation Z stereotypes, a man obsessing over a doll and even a “yo mama” joke. While this movie lacks the same charm of the 1990s film, it is nothing short of entertaining. 

The premise is similar to the original: 10 year old Max is overlooked by his large, chaotic and sometimes toxic family and is accidentally forgotten at home during a family holiday vacation abroad. While his family slowly realizes he is not in Tokyo with them, intruders attempt to rob a rare doll back and Max must protect himself and his home as he thinks the intruders are there to kidnap him, not steal back a doll. 

This movie caters to a broader audience by including references to the original. Kevin McCallister’s older brother and main bully Buzz McCallister returns as a policeman. The soundtrack also features some holiday classics such as “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” just like the original.

The common trope of “adults are useless” dominates the plot and appeals to children. The movie highlights Max against the world and it is up to him to save himself.

Much like the original, the main character is often bullied, disregarded and underestimated. 

“Archie Yates as Max in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo by courtesy of Disney+. © 2021 20th Century Studios. “

Although the concept sounds familiar, the writers did switch up the formula. The villains are dynamic. They are shown as a down on their luck parents, just trying to recover a family heirloom. A misunderstanding leads them to believe Max stole a rare and expensive doll. Their rescue mission is twisted and irrational, making the audience question the intelligence of the villains, reminiscent of the first movie.

Some reviews have been harsh. The exposition and rising action take too long to emerge. The plot itself hinges on a silly miscommunication. In addition, the flash-forward sequences show audiences what might happen if a character goes down a certain path. This gets tedious and is a bit cheesy. For instance, the movie shows viewers a flash forward of Max if he were to get kidnapped and given to old ladies by the villains, which is pointless because the viewers know it will not happen because they know the true intentions of the antagonists.

“Ellie Kemper as Pam and Rob Delaney as Jeff in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, exclusively on Disney+. Photo courtesy of Disney+. © 2021 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.”

Even though that sounds like some negatives, this movie does have a certain charisma that is disregarded.

The climax of the main character setting up traps for the couple trying to rob him is funny and the sequence is pulled off in a way that pays homage to Kevin McCallister without being a carbon copy.

The ending of “Home Sweet Home Alone” was predictable and missed the same meaningfulness that the original had. The original ended with showing viewers the meaning of the holiday season and the importance of family. Although the remake lacks this, it will leave viewers satisfied and ready for the holiday season.

Movie Rating: 2.5 / 5

Carrington Power can be reached at [email protected] or @_carringtonp on Twitter.