Jump the Shark vol. 371

Let’s continue the discussion of great film franchises that went the way of the Dodo Chris Klein.

Home Alone

Trust me, I don’t want to tear these movies to pieces any more than you do, I love them as much as anyone, but dammit, no one is above the law. If crappy sequels are made, I will investigate and find the source of the crap. The original Home Alone is inarguably the seminal film of many of our youths. Its clever blending of child empowerment, laughs, danger, and guys getting hit in the groin was an undeniably excellent combination that resonates still with anyone who grew up watching young Kevin McAllister battle ne’er do well criminal archetypes Marv and Harry (collectively known as the Wet Bandits…duh).

But, as we all know, excellence of that level is unsustainable, and the series must unavoidably plummet from the great heights of the original. Okay, so saying the series (there are 4 films) did not sustain its original excellence is not such a controversial thing to say; when, though, did this bastion of children’s filmmaking excellence turn that corner? When did it Jump the Shark? *dramatic music*

My theory points to a single image as the moment when the S.S. McAllister turned her bow away from the clear waters of childhood rambunctiousness and towards the rocky embankment of straight to DVD sequels.

Do you recognize and remember this moment? Well, in case you don’t, it’s the moment you found out mommy and daddy were getting a divorce, the moment you got stuffed in a locker for having a Star Wars lunchbox and the moment you got an awkward boner in Math class all rolled into one singular moment of cinematic shit. Marv’s skeleton appears after he’s electrocuted and my world was similarly rocked. This marks the first time the pranks turned from innocent tomfoolery to attempted murder. Kevin follows this little prank up by ensuring nails are driven through Marv’s feet (the Jesus imagery is overwhelming here and really shows the unexpected depth that Daniel Stern achieved with the seemingly topical Marv). Kevin later hurls bricks from the roof of a third story brownstone into the waiting skull of Marv…Ummm, what? He literally throws a brick as hard as he can from fifty feet up and the brick strikes Marv right in the dome. That’s not a hilarious prank, that’s a crushed skull. Kevin later lights a rope that Marv and Harry are climbing on fire as the two dangle helplessly two stories over the sidewalk. Kevin’s viciousness and murderous intentions are alarming to say the least. Clearly the filmmakers decided Kevin was done screwin’ around with paint cans and marbles and was gonna move straight to cranial avulsion and 3rd degree burns. He’s gonna have a hard time explaining to the cops how self defense involved this much pre-meditated torture.

So, with a thorough shark jumping out of the way, Home Alone was clear to go balls to the wall and make two more tortuous sequels that only Pete Hammond could love.

First of all, I’d like to congratulate the marketing department for managing to fit 3 different taglines onto the one poster. At least, and thank god I can say this, French Stewart didn’t manage to find his way into this movi…

Godammit French Stewart. What the hell is wrong with that kid’s eyes? Did they break into his house on day four of a coke bender?

If you made it through more than 48 seconds of that, congratulations, you’re a glutton for punishment.

It's the same face I made when I learned it wasn't a horrible prank that French Stewart was starring as Marv.

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