Home Alone: A Holiday Horror Story

Could Home Alone actually be a prequel to the slasher story of a young Kevin McCallister?

By L.B. Lubomski

What if I told you that beloved Christmas film Home Alone was not a comedy but in fact a horror film? I know what you're thinking, “That's just crazy!” However, by looking at the evidence, we can prove that Kevin McCallister is a sociopath with an antisocial personality disorder and, in addition, an attempted murderer.

At the start of Home Alone, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is an eight-year old boy living with his family in the suburbs of Chicago. His personal life leaves a lot to be desired; he's bullied by his older brother Buzz, ignored by his parents, and resented by many of his other family members, especially his Uncle Frank. The night before a Christmas family trip to Paris, Kevin gets blamed for a series of occurrences and ends up being punished and sent to sleep in the attic. First of all, that's a weird punishment. Even though he has a bed and everything up there, the fact that his parents isolated him like that in a house full of people certainly seems off. Before going to bed, Kevin makes a wish for his family to disappear. The next day, through a series of chance happenings, Kevin's family accidentally leaves him home alone.

All of Kevin's actions up to, and after being left alone, lead me to believe he is a sociopath. By definition, a sociopath is a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes, behavior, and a lack of conscience. Having a conscience is the key difference between a sociopath and a psychopath. Even if it is a weak contrast, psychopaths can still feel remorse and regret for their actions, but Kevin has no regrets. Any normal child his age would be terrified to wake up to an empty house with no parental figures. Instead, Kevin is thrilled by the idea. Later, he even hides when the cops show up to check on him. He does this for several days, confirming his antisocial behavior. Kevin goes to great lengths to conceal his isolated situation. He even terrorizes a poor pizza delivery driver into thinking he's going to be murdered utilizing an old mafia movie just because he can.

Kevin is afraid of his neighbor "Old Man" Marley, whom Buzz claims is actually the "South Bend Shovel Slayer." Marley is rumored to have murdered his family with a shovel some years ago. Kevin, at a few points in the film, observes him and imagines his nefarious ways. This is the part of Kevin's subconscious mind trying to keep him from becoming similar to who he perceives the Slayer to be. Kevin also is afraid of going into the basement and, on more than one occasion, imagines the furnace coming alive. While these could be explained away as just a child's overactive imagination, these instead could be signs of a more serious mental illness.

Now let’s get to the whole shtick of the movie. Two small-time thieves, Marv & Harry a.k.a. the Wet Bandits, attempt to rob Kevin's family home. What does Kevin do? Call the cops? Run away? No! The little monster straight up tries to kill them! You can't argue that what he is doing is in self defense as he takes nearly an entire day to prepare a series of Saw-style traps all over his house. He tars the steps and leaves open nails sticking out of the boards. He attaches an iron to a light cord. He places a different hot iron onto a door handle to burn the robber's hands. He even sets up a homemade flamethrower trap on a door to burn them when they come through! When his trap fails, he takes matters into his own hands: he shoots them in the genitals with a BB gun, pushes an entire chest of tools down a flight of stairs, nails them in the head with swinging paint cans, cuts a zip-line they are trying to cross, and even throws a pet tarantula onto Marv's face.

Seriously, any normal kid would have soiled their pants and cried for their mommy. Instead, Kevin goes part-Jigsaw, part-Rambo on two full grown criminals likely to kill him. Not only is he torturing these two guys, he's literally enjoying it, taunting them over and over and trying to get them to follow him into the next trap he's strategically set for them. He has zero regard for anyone's safety, let alone his own. Like I said, the kid’s a total sociopath! When it’s all said and done, he acts as though nothing happened, refuses to let a single person in on the events that took place, and does it all over again in the sequel!

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what Kevin’s hypothetical future could have looked like. As a result of these traumatic experiences as a child, combined with the uncaring environments in which he was raised, Kevin quite possibly could have grown up to become a serial killer. As one of his deepest childhood fears, he could have pulled inspiration from his perceived idol, “Old Man” Marley, and went on to claim his first victims (possibly his unloving family) as early as his teenage years. Police reports might read that Kevin went from room to room, as his family slept, and hacked each of them to death with an aluminum snow shovel. Confronted with what he was accused of, Kevin might simply say that he was finally making his childhood dream come true, before being hauled off to a high security psychiatric facility for many years to come.

One might wonder what fate would befall his two childhood tormentors if he were to escape the facility with his sights set on tracking them down. Would he be capable of showing mercy to his greatest rivals as they rest away their twilight years in an assisted living home, or just brutally put them out of their misery once and for all? Is that the closure Kevin would seek or the beginning of something far more sinister? Could he continue chasing that rush he once had fighting off the Wet Bandits and turn it into his own twisted series of Holiday break-ins, deadly traps, and shovel dismemberment – in becoming the REAL South Bend Shovel Slayer?

Kevin is still out there somewhere and with the holiday season fast approaching; it’s now the busiest time of the year for him. So if you find yourself traveling this Christmas, make sure you lock up all of your doors and windows tight, because the last thing you want to do is find yourself home alone with Kevin McCallister.

About the Author

L.B. Lubomski

Lawrence "L.B." Lubomski is an avid horror movie fan, gamer, musician, historian, and aspiring author. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, L.B. was exposed to the works of local filmmaker and godfather of zombie cinema George A. Romero early on. He has since developed a particular fondness for Italian zombie/cannibal and slasher films. This passion for horror extends into other media, from survival horror video games such as Resident Evil to horror-inspired musical artists. In his spare time, L.B. pursues many interests including building his collection of vinyl records, action figures, and vintage video games as well as drumming in various local bands.