How The Beloved Sequel Shows a Dark Side to Christmas

Dec 28, 2022

The holiday season is synonymous with revisiting classic Christmas movies that make audiences laugh, cry, and curl up under a warm blanket watching them from home. These movies are generally lighthearted and have viewers feeling a deeper appreciation for the holiday season and notably, their loved ones. Yet, there’s one Christmas movie that adds an emotional layer to its narrative; a darker one: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Home Alone 2 follows Kevin McCallister as he once again gets separated from his parents before Christmas, but instead of being left behind in the comfort of his own home, Kevin’s left to explore the vastness of New York City alone. On his journey, Kevin crosses paths once again with Harry and Marv, which leads to executing another series of traps to stop their master plan of robbing a high-end toy store. Filled with harrowing screaming, bloody reactions to traps, and emotional heaviness, Home Alone 2 is far from being solely a feel-good Christmas movie. Here’s the dark side to Home Alone 2.

Kevin’s a Compulsive Liar

20th Century Fox

Kevin is astute when at getting himself out of predicaments, and his method of choice is lying. Home Alone 2 reiterates this characteristic tenfold; Kevin virtually lies to get everything he wants after getting separated from his parents. He gets himself a room in one of the nicest hotels in New York City. He lies to scare away the hotel staff when they try to confront him about his parents whereabouts. He lies to use his father’s credit card to make lavish purchases. He lies compulsively and remorselessly. Home Alone 2 may be aimed at a children’s audience, but when a ten-year-old boy is lying himself through every obstacle in his young life, that is a bigger problem in the making.

Related: Joe Pesci Recalls Getting Seriously Burned Filming Home Alone Stunts

Parental Neglect

20th Century Fox

Kevin’s parents aren’t the most attentive, or for that matter, they aren’t decent parents altogether. In the first Home Alone, they forget Kevin at home and don’t realize it until they are midway through their flight. They once again lose track of the boy en route to Miami; their parenting skills are borderline abysmal. Especially considering their general treatment of Kevin when they’re not traveling; from yelling at Kevin, belittling him, to simply relegating him to something along the lines of a home fixture than their youngest, most vulnerable child. Parent of the Year award wouldn’t go to either of these two folks.

Psychopathic Traps

20th Century Fox

Kevin’s traps are psychopathic in nature. The first Home Alone introduces a disturbing side to a child’s mind as Kevin runs rampant in his inventions; from setting up his house as a giant booby trap consisting of scalding door knobs, flamethrowers, nails to the feet, racketeering bowling balls, Kevin thinks of every imaginable trap to seriously injure Harry and Marv; these traps are something out of a horror movie oppose to a children’s Christmas flick. Home Alone 2 elevates Kevin’s ingenuity; he uses paint buckets, bricks, planks, and plunges these two villains down flights of stairs and department store floors; all to protect a children’s toy store that he himself ends up vandalizing in his plot to stop the villains. These traps aren’t merely a way to stop Harry and Marv in their tracks; they bring enjoyment for Kevin as he relishes in their pain. In any real-case scenario, Harry and Marv would not have lived to tell the tale after facing Kevin a second time.

Related: Home Alone 2, 30 Years Later: The Godfather Part II of Children’s Movies


20th Century Fox

Home Alone 2, in its dark moments and violent antics, also makes an emotionally daunting commentary on the holiday season. As Kevin navigates New York City on his own, he doesn’t only come across his former enemies, Harry and Marv; he meets a pigeon lady that herself seems menacing. Terrified, Kevin avoids her like a living nightmare every time they cross paths; Kevin is clearly more terrified of her than Harry and Marv. Once Kevin actually takes the time to speak to this woman, he realizes that she’s simply lonely and down on her luck during the holiday season, with the pigeons serving as her only companions; a reinvention of Kevin’s past friendship with his next-door neighbor in the first Home Alone, a man grieving over his estranged relationship with his daughter.

Both these characters just want company and affection, and on the surface, Kevin provides it in a one-sided manner. But Kevin needs affection as much as they do; as the youngest of five children, Kevin feels generally forgotten and rejected by his family, and for good reason; his family’s primary treatment towards Kevin is punishment and belittlement. While the pigeon lady symbolizes the notion of seasonal depression, Kevin represents depression caused by familial mistreatment.

Harry and Marv’s Revenge Plot

20th Century Fox

Harry and Marv are the cartoony, bumbling buffoons that intend to commit grand theft on two separate occasions, and instead fall victim to Kevin McCallister’s maniacal traps. Nevertheless, there’s a dark reality behind these two villains; they are two adult men chasing after a ten-year-old boy, and their revenge isn’t something intended to just scare Kevin; they want to gravely hurt him. In the first Home Alone, Harry’s immediate thought after catching Kevin is to bite off Kevin’s fingers, and almost succeeds had Kevin’s next-door neighbor not intervened. In Home Alone 2, these men corner Kevin in broad daylight and intend to kidnap him to enact their pending revenge; they are unaffected by the hundreds of spectators surrounding them because revenge holds greater weight. By Home Alone 2’s climax, they no longer simply want to hurt Kevin; they are ready to take his life to ensure he never gets another laugh at their expense again.

Gritty Tale

20th Century Fox

Home Alone 2 is a gritty tale disguised as a Christmas movie. While audiences get a lovely tour of New York City during the holiday season, they also get a look into the depression that plagues a considerable amount of people during this time. Ultimately, Home Alone 2 illustrates one child’s darkest tendencies executed against two other social deviants, leaving audiences to wonder; who is truly the villain?

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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