Applying Real-Life Logic to Home Alone Makes It a Sadistic Horror

Applying Real-Life Logic to Home Alone Makes It a Sadistic Horror
Image credit: Legion-Media

Revisiting one of the most popular Christmas movies in history, you can't un-see how utterly sadistic it actually feels.

Well, the same can really be said about a lot of slapstick comedies, which take to heart the idea that comedy is watching other human beings in unfortunate and miserable situations.

But Home Alone (and its sequels) might be exceptional even on this front, given the sheer extent of bodily harm inflicted on the bad guys. Even taking the logic of comedic injuries as a given, you might start wondering how they are still alive halfway into their misfortunes, particularly in the sequels, which up the ante considerably.

And if you use real-life logic…

Well, let's take a quick look at some of Kevin's traps in Home Alone 1 and 2 and their likely effects in the real world.

A brick from three floors up or a swinging steam iron to the face would mean unconsciousness at best, and death is more probable. Never mind several bricks in a row.

A full bag of cement to the head, while looking up at it would almost certainly result in a broken neck. Getting your head on fire is not fatal, if you can extinguish the flames swiftly enough, but means a long, long hospitalization with extremely painful burns. But if you then stick your burning head in a toilet bowl full of accelerant (instead of a pile of snow), you're lucky if you die instantly from the explosion, instead of getting turned into a living torch.

Even slipping on icy stairs, the most basic trap in those movies – well, almost everyone knows how that can end up, unlikely to be fatal, but probability of at least some trauma, if you fail to prevent falling, is quite high. Never mind lesser injuries, such as from touching heated metal, nails piercing your feet, and whatever.

All in all, those movies probably would have been rated R, if they had somewhat realistic depictions of damage from things that happen to the hapless robbers in them. Just look at this clip, for an example:

Some of Kevin's traps, particularly past the original Home Alone, are almost assuredly fatal even when taken by themselves, and to survive all of them in a row, you probably need to be Wolverine, with adamantium skeleton and regenerating flesh. You can make a fine horror movie from the idea of a villain trapping a house like this to kill people. In fact, people have already played with this idea (Better Watch Out, a 2016 Christmas psychological horror film by Chris Peckover, anyone?)