Home Sweet Home Alone is the sixth entry into the long-running franchise and the third to feature an ensemble of new characters. Its announcement left the internet very divided, even more so once the trailer was released, and it seems it was for good reason because – to put it – Home Sweet Home Alone is a complete mixed bag.
Home Sweet Home Alone follows Max Mercer (Archie Yates), who has been left, you guessed it, home alone by his family who is on vacation in Tokyo. During his range of misadventures, he finds himself booby-trapping his home to stop two burglars who are on the hunt for a priceless doll that he stole from them during an open house.
No Parents. No Problem
This new instalment mixes up the story by having us follow the burglars more than the child booby-trapper, which was a welcome change in the highly formulaic series. Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper play the husband and wife team who decide to break into the Mercer household, and they are by far the best parts of the film.
I would go as far as to say that Delaney and Kemper are the only good things about the movie. They do give over-the-top performances that can’t even be compared to Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern from the first two Home Alone movies, but the two give it their all despite the shoddy script.
The switch-up of having the burglars more fleshed out and less villainous was a welcome change, as was the idea of rooting for them instead of the “kid character” as it allowed the movie to have some originality.
The Cringe is Real!
Unfortunately, Delaney and Kemper were the only actors I liked in the film because everyone else created some of the unfunny characters, which left me cringing more than I was laughing.
Archie Yates may not have been in Jojo Rabbit too much, but almost all of his lines were hilarious and delivered brilliantly. Sadly, he couldn’t translate the comedy this time around through no fault of his own. The script is just not funny. They try and try again, but the comedy seldom lands. As for Yates’ performance, even if it often feels like someone is holding up cue cards with his lines, and he’s carefully reading, Yates manages to do his best.
This is more than I can say for everyone else because Home Sweet Home Alone is filled with cringe-inducing acting and annoying side characters that we spend way too much time with. I don’t even need to name names because you’ll know who I disliked most when watching the movie. They are meant to be irritating, but there are better ways to make a character annoying without having them make the entire scene awkward to watch.
Another Forgettable Entry in the Series
The traps that Max sets are also no-way near as fun to watch as the original Home Alone. Kevin’s traps teetered on the levels of insanity with some hilarious but hard-to-watch results. All I can say for this sequel is that the traps are sanitised. Yes, some painful-looking stunts are pulled, but most of the tricks and traps result in the burglars being thrown into walls or brittle furniture.
Despite the film being made specifically for Disney+, Home Sweet Home Alone feels like a bad TV movie that you would find on Disney Channel at 2 pm. It has its moments, but it ultimately falls flat on its face. While I haven’t seen Home Alone 4 or Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, I can imagine that Home Sweet Home Alone will soon be as forgotten as they have been.
BUT I am an adult, and I can imagine children will have a great time watching this.