HOME ALONE: THE HOLIDAY HEIST
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: * (out of 5)
Christian Martyn as FINN BAXTER
Eddie Steeples as MR. HUGHES
Jodelle Ferland as ALEXIS BAXTER
Doug Murray as CURTIS BAXTER
Ellie Harvie as CATHERINE BAXTER
Debi Mazar as JESSICA
Malcolm McDowell as SINCLAIR
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Peter Hewitt
BY KEVIN CARR
By the time you get to home video releases of a TV movie fourth sequel to a 23-year-old film, your standards are lowered quite a bit. In fact, when you look at “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist,” it’s almost better to ignore the first two words of the title and not think of it as part of a series.
This is not to be overly mean to the film itself. Instead, it’s recognition of the fact that this movie is a far cry from the original “Home Alone,” a bona fide holiday classic. Heck, this doesn’t even hold a candle to “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.”
Instead, “Home Alone: The Holiday Heist” has more in common with the string of corny holiday movies we see marathoned each year on Lifetime or ABC Family (the latter of which is where it actually premiered last year).
If you look at this movie as even remotely coming close to “Home Alone,” it’s a disaster. However, if you look at is for what it is – a low-rent family TV movie – it’s not terrible.
The movie tells the story of a brother and sister whose family has recently moved into a new home in Maine from California right before Christmas. Not happy about dealing with the cold and snow, the kids sulk. Meanwhile, the parents have to attend a holiday party and end up getting snowed in there. At the same time, a group of thieves are trying to steal a priceless piece of art from the house and are in for a rude awakening as the kids defend their new home.
This movie is a rent-payer for bigger names like Malcolm McDowell (who is practically holding his nose throughout the film) and Debi Mazar. At least Mazar is more game for the slapstick and silliness, which is pale in comparison to the original film but still will get some chuckles out of the younger folks in the household.
However, it’s Eddie Steeples from “My Name Is Earl” who does the best job playing one of the hapless criminals. He doesn’t play the role as if it’s beneath him, but rather jumps in with both feet.
“Home Alone: The Holiday Heist” is nothing to write home about, but there’s enough going on that it can make decent and relatively safe holiday viewing with the kids this Christmas season. Christian Martyn, who plays the 10-year-old son is no Macaulay Culkin… but then again, neither is Macaulay Culkin any more.
The DVD comes bare bones with no special features. Of course, this is understandable considering the largest market for this movie will be families with younger children, and that group isn’t exactly into commentary tracks and DVD extras.