Review: Disney+’s “Home Sweet Home Alone” is a remake nobody needed nor asked for


Gracie Watt / Hilltop Views Mashup

“Home Sweet Home Alone” is a Christmas movie exclusive to Disney+. Dan Mazer directed the film starring Archie Yates, Ellie Kemper and Rob Delaney.

Two minutes into Disney+’s modern continuation of the 1990 Christmas classic “Home Alone,” aptly titled “Home Sweet Home Alone,” Generation Z slang is poorly used, introducing the audience to an hour and a half of product placement, terrible one-liners and an awkward push of modern technology on the classic story. 

Like Uncle Stu (Chris Parnell) puts it halfway through the film, “I don’t get why they’re always trying to remake the classics. It’s never as good as the originals.”

The story follows Max Mercer (Archie Yates), a 10-year-old boy who is left behind by his family on Christmas on their trip to Tokyo. Married couple Pam (Ellie Kemper) and Jeff Fritzovski (Rob Delaney) are in the midst of selling the house due to Jeff’s unemployment. When they discover an old doll that belonged to Jeff’s mother is worth an estimated $200,000, they immediately decide to sell it online, only to find that after their open house, the doll is nowhere to be found. The couple believes Max stole it after he and his mother (Aisling Bea) attended, and plan to enter his home while his family is in Tokyo to retrieve it. 

The plot, however, feels chaotic as you try to root for one character but suddenly don’t see them on screen for a few scenes. Also, the fact that Max and his mother attended the Frtizovski’s open house in the film’s beginning becomes a plot hole when we later discover that they only recently moved to Chicago and already have a house of their own. 

Throughout “Home Sweet Home Alone,” there are easter eggs alluding to the original movie. Devin Ratray reprises his role as Kevin’s older brother, Buzz, who is now grown up as a police officer. The last name McCallister makes subtle appearances and nods to iconic lines such as “keep the change ya filthy animal” are scattered throughout.

Neither of its attempts to remake the most iconic parts of “Home Alone” are even remotely entertaining or have the same charm to them. Max’s mother’s attempt to get back to him in Chicago is far less futile than that of Catherine O’Hara’s struggle in “Home Alone.” The action scenes of Max defending his home are not as clever as Kevin’s nor as entertaining. 

While the film overall isn’t completely unwatchable, it’s off-putting and not self-aware enough to actually shine as a remake. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table that audiences can leave with; with subpar humor and a poor rendition of the original film’s message about family.

The film tries to wrap up similarly to “Home Alone,” attempting to reach the idea that a house is not a home without a family, but fails to achieve this the same way the original does by instead abruptly closing up the invasion scene, rapidly (and lazily) tidying up the plot’s lose ends and pushing for a relationship between the two families that just doesn’t feel right. Instead of showing the audience this message through scenes of reunion like in “Home Alone,” we instead get forced, cheesy dialogue telling us we should go home for the holidays.

“Home Sweet Home Alone” doesn’t leave audiences with a nostalgic feeling, but rather a twisted pit of just “why?” Luckily, Disney+ is also streaming the original “Home Alone” and its sequel, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” Go stream those instead this Christmas.

Rating: 2 goats out of 5