Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012) – Xmas Holiday Review

holiday heist

By Geno McGahee

Last year, I reviewed the dreadful HOME ALONE 4 and I summed up my thoughts like this: “HOME ALONE 4 is an insult to film, an insult to Christmas, an insult to John Heard, Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O’Hara, Tim Curry, an insult to John Hughes, and an insult to anyone that watches it. I don’t know if there is a movie that is worse than this.”

So, why am I traveling back into HOME ALONE territory? Well, I’m a big fan of the first 3. That’s right. I said first THREE. Deal with it. I’m sick of that third one getting so much hate. It wasn’t bad. The fourth entry is where the franchise took a drastic turn for the worse, but that came out in 2002 and they took ten years to return and they vowed not to make the same mistake again. Maybe they didn’t, but I’d like to think that they sat around and said “we owe the HOME ALONE fans a good one after that last one.”

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Finn Baxter (Christian Martyn) is a ten-year-old obsessed with video games, but a move to the country is the hopeful change of pace that will get him away from the screen. His mother, Catherine (Ellie Harvie), has got a new job and the family has uprooted to a new house which isn’t popular with Finn or his older sister, Alexis (Jodelle Ferland). I kept wondering where I knew Ferland from and then it hit me. She was in BIGGER FATTER LIAR…a movie for another time. The father, Curtis (Doug Murray), is using this move to reconnect to his kids, but he is trying too hard. Immediately, this film was worlds better than the fourth entry, but I made that decision at the opening credits. They could only go up, but the cast was picked well. There is talent here and they are giving great efforts to make this film work.

As in all HOME ALONE films, there are bad guys that want to steal something. Here we have Sinclair (Malcolm McDowell), a thief that has been searching for a painting that is worth 85 million dollars. He believes it to be in the house but with the Baxter family now residing there, it won’t be easy. He has two partners, Hughes (Eddie Steeples) and Jessica (Debi Mazar). Once again, this film has a great cast and these bad guys were very amusing from jump. My incredibly low expectations going into this film began to fade away and I started to really enjoy it.

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Finn gets the idea from his sister that the house is haunted and begins setting ghost traps. Unfortunately, his dad gets caught in one and it was a laugh out loud moment. Holy fuck, I’m laughing out loud at HOME ALONE 5. What are the odds? This, of course, does not go over well with his parents and they try to convince him that the house is not haunted, but he is sold that it is.

While the family is away, the bad guys find the hidden safe in the basement but are unable to retrieve the painting. They’ll have to come back later and when they discover that the family is going to a work party, they prepare for the heist. Surprisingly, the parents leave the kids home and go to the party without them and the bad guys attempt to enter the house that they assume to be empty. When Finn realizes that he is dealing with people and not ghosts, he sets traps, which is what HOME ALONE is all about.

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This film is a lot like HOME ALONE 3, a good movie. Oh, I mentioned that already? I did. OK… Anyway, they did change up the traps and the goons did a great job at being dumb and silly. Sinclair screaming “I don’t believe in ghosts” as the traps are going off changes to “I believe!” McDowell was hilarious and so too were the other two. When Jessica climbs through the window, she notes “how you like me now?” This film came out in 2012 and the song “How You Like Me Now” came out in 2009. So it wasn’t that old but we are nearly in 2018 and when I heard it, I could not stop laughing. It was so ridiculous and the delivery by Mazar was great. Steeples was just great throughout and delivered the lines very well. His character was much like Daniel Stern’s in the original two films, but it was different enough to stand out.

This film follows the formula, but does it quite well. I have seen a lot of people are hating on this film too. I guess people just don’t know a good film nowadays. This generation is going to hell. HOME ALONE: THE HOLIDAY HEIST can’t be compared to the first two, but did we expect it do. What it did accomplish was to be a very amusing and fun film with great performances across the board. There was genuine effort here and the cast was solid enough to pull this one off.

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HOME ALONE: THE HOLIDAY HEIST is the KICKBOXER 4 of this series. If you saw the KICKBOXER movies, you’ll know what I mean. KICKBOXER 4 is a great movie, but it’s not what the original is and that is what I can say about this one. I recommend this one and am happy to see that this series has redeemed itself and I am now looking forward to HOME ALONE 6, if it ever comes out. Wouldn’t it be cool if they did a crossover HOME ALONE/KICKBOXER film? Just a thought.

Rating: 7/10