The Bad Christmas Movie Challenge: Home Alone 4 [2002]


Suffering the very worst Christmas movies Hollywood has to offer.

Last year I endured Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist for a mini Christmas Movie Challenge special, and, needless to say, it was a sorry excuse for entertainment. However, I may have been a tad hasty to label the made for TV movie the worst thing my eyes had ever seen as I had bypassed Home Alone 4.

After the third movie had milked the concept for all it was worth (but gave Scarlett Johanson an early role), the franchise shifted to very low budget TV fodder. My expectations were rock bottom, yet I still felt like a hollowed out husk when the credits rolled. Part 4 is a reboot/sequel that features the return of the McCallister family now played by a new cast. Instead of rehashing the plot of the first movie, Home Alone 4 is a dark reimagining of the characters as the McCallister children are facing their first Christmas as a newly divorced family. Clearly the trauma of leaving their youngest son home alone on two occasions was too much to overcome.

Dad is now shacked up with a posh new lady who is implausibly rich and owns a gadget-infused house. Mummy McCallister is an inch away from a nervous breakdown and openly lies to her children that all is well, and they can still have a magical Christmas.

Proving what an unrelenting sod he is, their father drops by on Christmas Eve to tell his soon to be ex-wife he is getting remarried. As an additional gut punch, he wants to take the kids to his new wife’s fancy house so they can get to know her better. What a grinch! To add further insult the new house comes with a butler played by Erick Avari (did you need money that badly?) To cut a short story shorter, Marv (formerly played by Daniel Stern now played by French Stewart) is out of prison and has hatched a scheme to kidnap a Prince, who will be visiting the area. The events of the first two films are briefly mentioned, and there’s a passing nod to Marv’s partner in crime Harry. So as the first two movies are cannon here, that means Kevin was no more that six years old the first time he was left alone and just seven when he was lost in New York.

Ultimately, there is nothing to like about Home Alone 4 as it is the very definition of bad filmmaking. I found myself obsessing with the inaccurate title for this TV turkey. Kevin is never actually alone in the house so how can it be a Home Alone movie if the protagonist is neither alone or indeed in his own home? Briefly Unattended In My Potential New Stepmother’s Futuristic Death Trap would have been a better fit.

I know what you’re thinking, it’s Home Alone 4 Chris what did you expect it to be? I knew it wasn’t going to be Home Alone good, I could have lived with Home Alone 3 levels of shoddiness, but Home Alone 4 was needlessly terrible even by the low standards of TV movies. A final thought to ponder, the tagline on the poster is the killing blow, “Bigger house. Badder baddies. Bigger and Better laughs.” The reality should read “Cheaper sets. Low rent cast. It’s the worst thing you’ll see all year.”

No stars for you Home Alone 4, you’re on Santa’s kill list.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *