Home Alone is a Christmas classic that’s watched annually by countless families and fans each year. Kevin McCallister’s antics are the catalyst for many holiday laughs, even as his traps against the wet bandits clearly indicate this is a Saw prequel series made many years before that franchise would even launch in full. But while all eyes are on Kevin and his antics, we should all take a closer look at Kevin’s family.
Harry and Marv, the duo known as the Wet Bandits in the first Home Alone film, covet the McCallister house. It’s the big one, the one they’ve always dreamed about knocking over, the whole reason why they’re working this neighbourhood in the first place. The Silver Tuna, as Harry calls it, and with good reason. It’s huge and likely loaded with all sorts of goodies worth stealing. Despite being a rather middle-class area, judging by some of the other houses on the block, the McCallister house is actually worth around $1.5 million USD. But why are they so interested in it? What’s so special about this house? Who lives there? The McCallisters may seem like an upper-middle-class family with nothing particularly noteworthy about them, but it seems that the McCallisters are deeply embedded in something sinister. Let’s look at the evidence.
The whole reason why Kevin is left home alone in the first movie is due to a family vacation to Paris. This trip is paid for entirely by Kevin’s uncle, who was relocated to France for work. The uncle pays for Kevin, his four other siblings, his parents, his aunt, his uncle, and their six children. At Christmas time. That isn’t exactly cheap, even in 1990. In Home Alone 2, Kevin gets his hands on his dad’s credit card and is able to pay for a lavish suite at the Plaza Hotel without any flags being raised about credit limits. In other words, his card is super platinum.
Then there’s the fact that Peter keeps wads of cash on hand. Sure, he’s going on vacation, but why have that much cash on hand when you have a fancy credit card, especially a fat stack worth of 50s. Likewise, this is the 90s, so travellers’ cheques were totally a thing, not thousands in cold hard cash. Is that much cash on hand just a normal fact of life for Peter McCallister, if so, where does he get it from? We never once find out exactly what the McCallisters do for a living, and it seems that Kevin’s mom doesn’t even have a job. Meanwhile, Peter’s brother rob is rich enough to have a place in Paris for his new “job” and keep his New York City residence which is also being renovated while he’s abroad. Yeah-right. Something is fishy here.
At the start of the first movie, Harry impersonates a police officer to gauge everyone’s security systems. When Kevin’s dad, Peter, sees a police officer at his door, the first thing he thinks to ask is “am I under arrest?” Why would that be the first thing he asks? Well, if he was up to some shady criminal stuff, that would certainly be the first thing you’d ask. If you peruse the movie’s IMDb page, you’ll see in the trivia section that there is a rumoured original script in which Uncle Frank, the jerkwad uncle in the movie, actually hires Marv and Harry to rob his brother’s place. So while they’re crooks and totally going to rob everyone they can, they were specifically on this block to rob this house. By posing as a cop, he gains all the information about the house’s security systems (which honestly, don’t work at all).
So the family definitely has ties to the criminal underbelly. Frank knows how to hire some thugs and clearly wants to rob his own brother while his other brother is able to pay for 15 flights. So the McCallisters are connected and the neighbourhood definitely knows it. When the Little Nero’s pizza guy hears the Angels With Dirty Faces movie scene through the door, he totally buys that there’s a hit going on in the house and runs for cover when the gunshots play in the scene. To him, it makes total sense that this family would just assassinate someone in their own home and runs to save his life.
The McCallister family are pretty cruel, mean and violent. Kevin’s mom bullies her way to a phone in Paris while Buzz is totally going to grow up to be some sort of Mafia enforcer. No one in the family even notices Kevin is missing in the first movie, likely due to their spoiled upbringing on blood money. It’s one thing for the parents to not notice, they were in first class after all, but none of the kids, who were sitting together, noticed? Back at the house, Kevin, instead of opting to call the police himself when left alone (or when crooks come knocking) opts to defend the home himself, probably as a way to defend the family’s dark secrets. And about those traps. Kevin, has some issues, and Marv and Harry should be toast-especially due to the level of violence (which doesn’t phase Kevin) in the second movie.
Or perhaps this is all crazy talk. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays everyone. For more holiday reads, check out the yearly debate over Die Hard’s status as a Christmas movie and our reviews of Klaus and The Christmas Chronicles.