ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Review: "Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House" (2002)

Updated on January 20, 2012
Working title: "Ernest Makes a Stupid Kids Movie"
Working title: "Ernest Makes a Stupid Kids Movie" | Source

DISCLAIMER: This review may contain spoilers.

"Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House" is in some ways a bit more respectable film than "Home Alone 3" in the sense that it had all the right intentions but it ended up doing everything wrong and half-assed.

"Home Alone 4" sees the parents of Kevin McCallister separated. Kevin himself lives with his mother while his father resides with his rich girlfriend Natalie, who lives in a mansion. Fed up with being tormented by Buzz, Kevin takes his father's offer to spend Christmas with him at the mansion.

Marv, one of the crooks from the first two, returns here and is now accompanied by his girlfriend Vera. They're out to kidnap a royal family whom Natalie will be hosting at the mansion. Kevin suspects that the butler, Mr. Prescott, might be working with the crooks because he's never around when they break into the house. However, it turns out later on that Molly, the maid, is the one working with them. In fact, she happens to be Marv's mother and is in charge of the whole kidnapping plot.

As I do with many of the bad films that I review which have some redeeming qualities about them, I will list the good first:

  • Most of the original characters are back. This was a step in the right direction from "Home Alone 3."
  • The setting is original. At least we're not stuck in the same stupid house again.
  • I like the fact that Kevin's parents are separated, this changes things up a bit from the first two films and provides some kind of conflict for his parents, something which hadn't been touched yet.
  • Marv trying to be the leader this time around was nice. And I also like the fact that the maid (his mother) was in charge of the whole scheme this time around.
  • Instead of creating traps for the crooks, Kevin gets creative and just works with whatever he can find. This leads to perhaps the best scene in the film where Kevin traps Marv and Vera in the mansion's oversized bathroom while it's powerful shower jets flood the entire room.

Awkwardness

There's a lot of awkwardness running rampant throughout "Home Alone 4." There's a scene with Kevin dancing which I guess is supposed to resemble a scene in the original but it just comes off as cringeworthy. Other examples include the following:

  • The look on Kevin's face when Buzz is left to babysit him. Can he look any more forced than he does here in this one shot?
  • The music. My oh my. "Home Alone 3" had this problem, you know, distancing itself from the memorable soundtrack of the first two 'Home Alone' movies. It seems as if "Home Alone 4" also jumped on the bandwagon, except that the music here is even worse than in "Home Alone 3". Here, it actually sounds like a direct-to-video soundtrack, even though that's what the movie is, it doesn't even try to be anything other than that, it just settles for what it is.
  • The scene where Kevin is served breakfast in bed. What were they thinking when they filmed this scene? There's no dialogue, just DTV (direct-to-video) music playing. Kevin fidgets excitingly in bed as Molly the maid comes over to him with a breakfast tray. One has to wonder why it was shot in such a bad fashion as it was. I mean come on, 'Hellraiser' has had like five or so direct-to-video sequels and even they have better scene execution than this turd.

Anyone Got a Movie Opener?

Because it looks as if they opened "Home Alone 4" with a can opener. You can tell that this movie was nothing more than a cash-in attempt just by the opening titles alone. The entire title sequence acts more like the logo sequence for the film's production company, that's how bad it is. It's done very quick and it's over before you know it. This is the first hint in "Home Alone 4" that you're in for a DTV-stylized sequel.

Look in the Mirror, Idiots

None of the actors in "Home Alone 4" resemble the characters that they are supposed to be playing. Kevin doesn't look like Kevin; in fact, he looks a lot younger than Kevin from "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York." Also, Buzz is way too skinny to be Buzz. I can tell already that the casting director didn't a crap about the first two 'Home Alone' movies.

Furthermore, Kevin's dad looks nothing like Kevin's dad. And then there's Marv who looks more like Harry, complete with the skullcap. Actually, Marv in "Home Alone 4" looks and acts a lot like Ernest from the 'Ernest' movies (i.e. "Ernest Scared Stupid").

Random Things That Make No Sense

  • Kevin states in the first five minutes that he is nine years old. But in "Home Alone", we learn that he's eight. "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" takes place one year after the first film, making Kevin nine. It's not possible for the second and fourth films to take place during the same Christmas season because of the circumstances and as well as the fact that his parents have been separated for eight months. So wouldn't it make sense for "Home Alone 4" to take place AT LEAST one year after the second film?
  • When Marv and Vera first enter the mansion, Kevin traps them in a bathroom that is quickly flooding with water. He then goes downstairs and waits for the water to burst through the door and carry them down the steps. It's not until this happens that he decides to call the butler for help. Gee, maybe you should have done that as soon as you locked the bathroom door.

Remedies for "Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House"

  • A production value that is at least standard hollywood style and not television.
  • Finding actors who at least look the parts they are playing.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Stevennix2001 profile image

      Steven Escareno 

      6 years ago

      Wow, it sounds like I'm not missing much by never seeing this film. To be honest, I didn't hear about this movie up until a year ago, and i still have no desire to even watch it. And based on your review, I can safely say that I never will. lol.

      By the way, the whole age problem for Home Alone thing could be a matter of Kevin being born on a leap year. lol.

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      6 years ago from The Garden State

      Ohhh yeah, this one was bad. Not the "good" kind of bad either. And that's coming from someone who didn't mind "H.A. 3."

      I can understand why they had to re-cast Kevin for this movie, since Macaulay Culkin was probably old enough to drink by 2002. But they could've at least tried to find a kid who looked somewhat like him. Sheesh.

      If memory serves, this was a made-for-TV movie that aired on the FOX Network before going straight to DVD. Nuff said.

    • lukeuk profile image

      lukeuk 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      For me, I think they should have stopped making them after 2

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)