'Home Alone' Turns 25: How the Film Would Be Different Today

The film premiered Nov. 16, 1990.

ByLesley Messer
November 16, 2015, 4:38 AM

— -- It has been 25 years since viewers were introduced to Kevin McCallister, the smart aleck 8-year-old whose family accidentally left him home in suburban Chicago while they traveled to Paris for Christmas.

That's right: "Home Alone," the film that grossed more than $285 million domestically and made a bona fide movie star out of Macaulay Culkin, premiered Nov. 16, 1990.

"When I was 9 years old, I got recognized wearing a ski mask," Culkin once told New York magazine. "Maybe it's the lips. I couldn't hide from the world at all."

But would "Home Alone" have worked today? Technological advances, among other things, have rendered key parts of the movie moot. Here's how:

1. Airport security has changed dramatically: In 1990, airport security was much more lax than it is today, which made the McCallister family's rush to their plane believable. In 2015, however, it's necessary to have a boarding pass to get through security, which means Kevin's mother, Kate, would have been left holding his unclaimed ticket before they passed through the metal detectors. He never would have been left alone in the first place. Also, the part in which the gate agent told the family to sit where ever they wanted? Forget it.

2. Cellphones have made communication so much easier: Maybe Kevin wouldn't have had a cellphone, but his neighbors would have. Or one of the McCallisters' friends would have. Or, really, anybody that the McCallisters had ever known in the greater-Chicago area would be accessible via a mobile phone. In 2015, a responsible adult would have been alerted to the fact that a little boy had been left home alone and Kevin would have been saved from a potentially traumatic, albeit fun, weekend.

3. Home security systems have improved: Now, it's possible to monitor one's home in a variety of ways -- from traditional alarms to systems that can be monitored via an app. If the McCallisters didn't have a home security system, one of their neighbors would have, and the "Wet Bandits" would have been apprehended relatively quickly.

4. Kevin would have had a tougher time buying groceries: In one scene, Kevin goes to the supermarket and is peppered with questions from the clerk: Where's your mother? Where's your father? Where are your sisters and brothers? Today, a salesperson who was that concerned about the well-being of a child would ask to actually meet his or her parents.

5. Kate McCallister's travel experience would have been better: Once Kate realized that her little boy was home alone, she tried her hardest to fly back to Chicago as quickly as possible. Ultimately, she ended up in the back of a Budget truck with a polka band. First of all, today, Kate could have used Kayak or any other travel website to book a ticket right away. Secondly, the Budget truck seems like an unbelievably unsafe way to travel. Odds are, the band would have a different mode of transport in 2015.

6. Kevin could have ordered pizza online: Kevin ordered pizza at one point and used the audio of a violent movie to avoid contact with the pizza delivery guy. Today, Kevin could just order his meal online, with a note to leave it at the door. And, if Kevin had made the delivery guy believe that he was being shot at, the delivery guy would have pulled out his cellphone and called the cops immediately.

7. "Buzz, your girlfriend -- Woof!": In one scene, Kevin discovered a photo of his brother Buzz's girlfriend. "Buzz, your girlfriend -- Woof!" he cried. Today, Buzz and his girlfriend would likely have some kind of social media presence, and Kevin wouldn't be so shocked to see her face.

8. Kevin's story would go viral, so forget a sequel: What are the odds that the media wouldn't have a field day with the story of an 8-year-old suburban boy who fought off two home intruders after his family left him alone for a weekend? Kevin McCallister would become a celebrity overnight, and, realistically, his parents would probably be investigated for negligence. Either way, there would be no "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York."

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