Written by: Sara E. Teller
Does the pandemic have you stuck at home during this celebratory season? Chances are your holidays will be more mellow than Kevin McCallister’s in ‘Home Alone,’ but you may have some extra time on your hands to queue up this classic as it celebrates its 30th birthday.
Originally released in 1990, ‘Home Alone’ is the story of 8-year-old Kevin (played by Macaulay Culkin) who is inadvertently left behind by his family as they hustle out the door, running late for a flight to Paris. His absence is eventually detected by his mother, Kate, who begins to get a bad feeling on the plane that they forgot something. When she realizes the something is actually a someone, the camera closes in and she famously screams, “Kevin!” Kate McCallister, played by Catherine O’Hara (who you may or may not have recognized in her most recent role as Moira in Schitt’s Creek), gets the same frantic closeup in the sequel.
Meanwhile, Kevin is convinced he has successfully wished his family into oblivion and is perfectly content with doing whatever he wants unsupervised, including jumping on his parent’s bed while eating popcorn, going through older brother Buzz’s “private stuff,” and watching movies that are normally off-limits. That is, of course, until two burglars show up. Meanwhile, Kevin is convinced he has successfully wished his family into oblivion and is perfectly content with doing whatever he wants unsupervised, including jumping on his parent’s bed while eating popcorn, going through older brother Buzz’s “private stuff,” and watching movies that are normally off-limits. That is, of course, until two burglars show up.
The expansive red brick Colonial (the Home Alone House), perfect for Kevin’s fifteen-person family, also serves as an ideal setting for a Hollywood home invasion. Believing the McCallister family (as a whole) is out of town, the burglars decide it’s time to take advantage of the situation and load up on some loot. Yet, they prove to be no match for the clever Kevin’s arsenal of traps and tricks.
The Home Alone House
The Home Alone house was originally built in 1920 and owned in real life by Cynthia and John Abendshien during filming, 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, IL, spans just over 4,200 square feet. It sits near the banks of Lake Michigan, just north of Evanston, and sold in 2012 for more than $1.5 million. The brick abode is positioned on a half-acre of land equipped with a detached garage and greenhouse. It has five bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, and plenty of unique interior space including the attic bedroom where Fuller wets the bed. A large kitchen and standout staircase are well-suited for fending off the thieves, and there are plenty of hiding spots to help him catch the crooks off guard.
Decked in eye-catching holiday décor, the home’s beautiful façade makes for a believable backdrop that the Abendshiens made sure was left unharmed despite the scene-by-scene shenanigans. They stayed on set most of the time to monitor the film’s making and to keep the integrity of their home intact.
So, if you haven’t revisited this must-watch in – well, 30 years! – perhaps its time to take a peek and pick up on details you may have missed. Watching the chaos of Kevin’s Christmas also makes for a good reminder to appreciate the quietness of this Covid quarantine. Happy watching and, in the spirit of ‘Home Alone,’ Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!