Dec 24, 2022Liked by Casey Muratori, Anna Rettberg

Surprisingly, I never watched Home Alone as a kid. I actually watched it for the first time during Covid lockdown, and I had the same reaction you did, even without the nostalgia filter. It’s not an all time masterpiece of cinema, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how much care and thought was put into it. Based on cultural osmosis, I expected it to be 90% wacky booby traps, and I was also pleasantly surprised to discover that was only a small piece of the movie, and there was much more substance than I would have guessed.

One day later, I watched Home Alone 2, and yeah, your expectation is spot on. It’s virtually a beat-for-beat remake of the first film, but with everything turned up to 11. The emotional beats become saccharine nonsense, the booby traps are so cartoony that one of the bandits literally turns into a plastic skeleton at one point, and the whole thing feels like a bad parody of itself. It’s an interesting counterpoint to the first movie precisely because, on paper, it’s exactly the same thing, but the execution is so, so much worse.

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That makes me want to watch Home Alone 2, even though I definitely don't want to watch Home Alone 2 :)

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