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Home Alone 4
Home Alone 4 DVD cover
DVD cover
Distributed by The Walt Disney Company
Directed by Rod Daniel
Written by Debra Frank
Karey Kirkpatrick
Starring see below
Music by Teddy Castellucci
Original channel FOX
Release date November 3, 2002
(Television FOX premiere)
October 29, 2003
(Direct-to-video release)
Runtime 89 minutes

Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House also known as Home Alone Taking Back the House or simply Home Alone 4 is the fourth film in the Home Alone series, directed by Rod Daniel, which first aired on FOX on November 3, 2002 and is the fourth film in the Home Alone series.

The film brings back several of the main characters from the first two films including Kevin McCallister, but with all the roles played by different actors. The plot revolves around Kevin (Mike Weinberg) trying to defend his future stepmother's house from Marv (French Stewart) and his wife Vera (Missi Pyle) who takes place for Harry (Dave Foley). Many people criticize French Stewart's performance while others call it hilarious and great.

This film acts as a loose sequel or "soft reboot" due to the absence of any of the regular cast and a different storyline that does not reflect the continuity of the first two films. Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (which has nothing to do with this film) followed ten years later in 2012.

Cast

Actor Role
Mike Weinberg Kevin McCallister
French Stewart Marv Murchins
Missi Pyle Vera Murchins
Eric Avari Mr. Prescott
Joanna Going Natalie Kalban

Jason Beghe

Peter McCallister

Clare Cary

Kate McCallister

Gideon Jacobs

Buzz McCallister

Chelsea Russo

Megan McCallister

Lisa King

The Queen

Craig Geldenhuys

The Crown Prince

Sean Cameron Michael

The Police Officer

Anton Smuts

The Taxi Driver

Plot Summary

The film takes place a year after the third film. At the McCallisters' house, Peter (Jason Beghe) is about to get divorced from Kate (Clare Carey) and announces that he's living with his new and rich girlfriend Natalie (Joanna Going) at her mansion. He tells his three children Buzz (Gideon Jacobs), Megan (Chelsea Russo), and 9-year-old Kevin (Mike Weinberg) that they are hosting the visit of a royal family and invites everyone to spend Christmas with him and Natalie. After initially refusing, Kevin takes his father up on his offer after being tormented by Buzz.

Kevin enjoys his time at Natalie's mansion with his new bedroom, latest gadgets and his life. In the next morning, Natalie and Peter go out for a bit while Kevin stays at the mansion with Natalie's butler Mr. Prescott (Erick Avari) and maid Molly (Barbara Babcock). While Mr. Prescott makes Kevin a milkshake, he goes into the security room and gets caught by Mr. Prescott who gives Kevin another chance. With Natalie and Peter still away, Kevin notices his old nemesis Marv (French Stewart), a remaining member of the Wet/Sticky Bandits and new sidekick/wife Vera (Missi Pyle) outside the house. Kevin tries to contact Mr. Prescott on the intercom, but for some reason he doesn`t respond. He then spies on them and drive them away by flooding the house, but Peter and Natalie arrive while Kevin is cleaning up and don`t believe Kevin's explanation, especially since Mr. Prescott claims to have seen nothing. While driving, Marv tells Vera about his encounters with Kevin and states that they have someone on the inside to help them in their plot. Kevin then attempts to use the security camera footage to prove himself, but discovers that the camera had been turned off and is caught by Mr. Prescott (who Kevin now believes to be Marv and Vera's ally). Molly then appears and gets Kevin out of trouble. Peter and Natalie then realize they gave Kevin a hard time and decide to make him feel better, so the three of them decide to decorate the tree together.

The next morning Peter and Kevin wake up and realize their tree was replaced because of Natalie. Kate, Buzz and Megan then decided to visit Kevin. Kate meets Natalie in person and Kevin shows the entire house to Buzz and Megan. At a party for the royal family while Peter and Natalie have gone to pick them up, Kevin notices Marv and Vera dressed up as caterers. Mr. Prescott warns Kevin about the night so he then tricks Mr. Prescott into going into the freezer room and he ends up locked in and frozen in ice. Kevin then spies on Marv and Vera in his bedroom and hears them planning about kidnapping the prince. Unfortunately for them, Kevin makes sure that their plan was a failure and has them fall out and break the window. The royal family are unable to attend the party because their flight was cancelled, so Peter and Natalie instead announce their engagement. Marv and Vera run back into the house and Kevin hits Marv with a frying pan, flips the table and get soup spilled on Marv and Vera. They then chase Kevin, who accidentally ruins the party by bumping and knocking over the guests and caters. Peter is angered at this event, still refusing to believe Kevin about the break-in for he believes that Kevin is trying to end his relationship with Natalie.

Since no one believes him about the heist, Kevin decides to deal with matters himself, and sets booby traps for Marv and Vera. The next morning, Peter and Natalie go get the royals and Kevin is left back at the house. Marv and Vera wake up and head to the house. Kevin tricks and locks Mr. Prescott in the basement, but then he discovers Marv and Vera's real ally is actually Molly who also turns out to be Marv's mother as well. Kevin gets locked in the basement with Mr. Prescott, who then reveals to Kevin that the reason he didn`t see Marv and Vera when they first broke in was because he was napping on the job. He hates his job and that during the times Natalie is away he takes secret breaks which if caught would lead Natalie to order him with more work hours. He lied about keeping watch on the security cameras to cover up his secret well-deserved breaks, not to help Marv and Vera. After apologizing to Mr. Prescott for misjudging him (and vice-versa), Kevin tries to call Buzz using Mr. Prescott's phone but he just jeers and hangs up on him. He then tries to call his mom but they get disconnected and when calling the house Kate is told by a lying Molly that Kevin is with Peter. When Kate calls Peter about Kevin, he denies this causing both Kate and Peter to become suspicious.

During these calls, Kevin loses power on Mr. Prescott's phone and with help from Mr. Prescott manages to escape through the dumbwaiter. He then unleashes his traps on Marv and Vera. Molly hears the commotion and tries to stop Kevin resulting in Kevin trapping her in the elevator. At the airport, Peter's suspicions about the confusion about Kevin gets him worried about Kevin and leaves Natalie to get the royals as he goes back to Natalie's mansion to check on him. Back in the basement, Mr. Prescott then manages to escape through the dumbwaiter as well wanting to see if Kevin is alright. Just on the road, Kate, Buzz and Megan are on their way to save Kevin as well since Kate also was suspicious. Marv heads to the bedroom and ends up getting caught and stuck under the bookshelf. Kevin then plays a recording of Marv, making it sound like he's insulting Vera, which causes them to argue. Marv then gets hit by Kevin's electric aircraft making him fall and rumble down the stairs. Marv and Vera are then tricked by Kevin with a secret wall switch, end up swinging from a chandelier, and they fall and are knocked unconscious. When smugly wishing them a merry Christmas, Molly had escaped from the elevator and grabs Kevin threatening him with a pan, but Mr. Prescott knocks her out with a serving tray. Then, he and Kevin call the police who then arrive at the same time the others arrive.

As Peter, Kate, Buzz and Megan arrive, Kevin, with Buzz and Megan's help, chases Marv and Vera out of the house and trips them up. The royal family and Natalie arrive and Natalie is confused when she sees Molly getting arrested. An FBI agent reveals that Molly's the boss and that she, Marv, and Vera, masterminded the plot to abduct the royals. Everyone has a good Christmas as Peter breaks up with Natalie, Mr. Prescott resigns, the royals spend Christmas with the McCallisters, and it is a good Christmas for everyone, except for Natalie, Marv, Vera and Molly.

Critical Reception

The film was widley panned by reviews from critics and fans of the first two movies. At Rotten Tomatoes the film currently has no score on the tomatometer, with 2 rotten reviews, but it does have a 40% user rating. Criticisms were based on how Home Alone 4 doesn't seem to fit into the same chronological timeline as the first two movies, based on the film's inferior cast and script. Several reviews also criticised the film for low-budget production values. The film currently holds a low rating of 2.5 out of 10 at IMDB. Some people have called it a masterpiece in it's own way. One critic had this to say, "I don't get it. This movie is brilliant. Grant it, I was high while watching it but it was brilliant. French Stewart is...he gives a sad and heart breathtakingly amazing performance. Again, high."

Unmade Television Series

The producers had hoped that this movie would lead to a Home Alone TV series if popular enough, several of the main cast members had clauses in their contracts that would have bought them back for such a series. However the movie failed to perform up to expectations in the ratings, and the series was never commissioned.

In the movie`s original ending, Kevin's parents didn't get back together. His father stayed with Natalie, and his mother started dating a police officer who turned out to be Marv's younger, more honest brother. This was changed when the producers decided they wanted the film to set up a TV series, and so Kevin's parents did get back together at the end, while the police officer was deleted altogether from the script.

The only information on the TV Show was that it centered around Kevin again, and Mr. Prescott was also his butler. In the first episode of the TV Show, Marv returned as the main antagonist along with Vera and plotted to rob the McCallister household to full-fill a goal he and Harry set out to do in the first movie. The producers had also intended for new child characters to be featured and new antagonists, and the children created their own special neighbourhood watch in which they entrapped and captured potential villains trying to rob the houses.

Continuity Problems

The film has only a loose continuity with the first two films, which gives the impression of it being a spiritual sequel, a loose reboot or standalone film.

  • Kevin states to be 9 years old in the film, even though in the first movie he is 8 and in the second one he states to be 10 (even though technically he should be 9 in the second movie as it takes place a year after the first one, but it seems obvious that Kevin was possibly lying about his age). Kevin should be at least 11–13 years old in this film. It can't take place in-between Home Alone or Home Alone 2 as Kevin is seen watching a video of his family spending Christmas together, even though they were away.
  • His siblings Linnie and Jeff are completely absent with no explanation. Buzz and Megan are treated like his only two siblings as backed up by Kevin's line that he wishes he never had a brother or a sister. What`s more, Buzz and Megan look much younger to their original appearance.
  • Although recasting is common in media and film, the characters don't resemble their original counterparts from the first two films at all. Marv especially is given the appearance of a taller Harry and wears almost the same exact attire to him.
  • Kate says that they're going to put out milk and cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve, but the fact that they were still there the following morning when Kevin did this in the first film should've told him that Santa isn't real and therefore resulted in Kevin no longer believing in him.
  • In this movie Kevin is shown to have a teddy bear, which is stated by Peter and Kate to be his most transitional possession and that he can`t go anywhere without him. Yet, there is no point in the first 2 films where Kevin is ever seen to have a teddy bear nor any other toy which he takes everywhere with him.

Trivia

  • Daniel Stern, who played Marv in the first two films, was approached to reprise his role in this one. Stern quickly declined, calling it "an insult, total garbage."[citation needed] On the other hand, Joe Pesci wasn't offered to reprise his role as Harry. Instead, Harry's name was only mentioned.
  • Although Home Alone 4 takes place in Chicago, Illinois, it was actually filmed in South Africa.
  • The producers had hoped that this movie would lead to a Home Alone TV series, and several of the main cast members had clauses in their contracts that would have bought them back for such a series. This movie failed to perform up to expectations in the ratings, though, and the series never went ahead.
  • This is the only film in the series where Marv calls Kevin by name and vice-versa
  • In the original Home Alone and Home Alone 2 movies Kevin was one of five siblings, he had 2 sisters and 2 brothers. Buzz, Jeff, Megan, and Linnie.
  • Rod Daniel's final directorial film.
  • In the original ending, Kevin's parents did not get back together. His father stayed with Natalie, and his mother started dating a police officer who turned out to be Marv's younger, more honest brother. This was changed when the producers decided they wanted the film to set up a TV series, and so Kevin's parents did get back together at the end, while the police officer was deleted altogether from the script.
  • Only film in the series to feature a twist revealing a villain.

Gallery

Marv and Vera soaked
Kevin and Prescott fistbump


Home Alone film series
Films Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkHome Alone 3Home Alone 4Home Alone: The Holiday Heist