Home Alone 4
December 30, 2020
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown, followed by the intro. NC is seen with his head resting on his hand, his fingers drumming as though pondering something)
NC: (deadpan) Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Well, it's after Christmas, but it's still December. Got any expired Christmas leftovers?
(The poster for Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House is shown)
NC: (shrugs) There's no other time I'm reviewing it.
(The title for Home Alone 4 is shown, followed by footage of the film)
NC (vo): From the director of (poster of...) Teen Wolf...
NC: (confused) Huh?
NC (vo): ...and (poster of...) Beethoven's 2nd...
NC: That's more like it. (nods)
NC (vo): ...Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House was the first Home Alone film to be released straight to television and DVD. They took away all the actors (The poster of Home Alone 3 is superimposed) in the last movie, so I guess it figures to take away the actual theaters next. (An article showing Warner Bros.' plan to release all of its 2021 releases to HBO Max and theaters at the same time) A plan Warner Bros. would soon cling to. I really had no interest in looking this over, but being in that emotional purgatory between Christmas and New Year's, I guess I should give the people what they...well, not want, because nobody wanted this, but...let's say "cautiously asked about". Let's wrap up this year with what I wish was the end of this series. (The poster for Home Alone: The Holiday Heist is superimposed)
NC: By...kinda demand, this is Home Alone 4.
(As the movie opens on a shot of a house done up in Christmas lights, the opening credits are shown, with French Stewart in the cast)
NC (vo): Always a good sign when that's the first name you see. (The camera zooms in close on the name) Unless there's an (The word "Add" appears over Stewart's name) "And" or (The word "With" replaces "And" over Stewart's name) "With" on top, that does not bode well. But don't worry, it gets better. You know how, in the last movie, they couldn't get (A shot of a promo piece for Home Alone 3 is superimposed) any of the cast back, so they just wrote new characters? Well, say hello to Kevin McCallister, everybody!
(A shot of the original Kevin from the first two movies is shown in the corner as we are shown this movie's Kevin, who is played by Mike Weinberg. Other members of Kevin's family are shown)
NC (vo): Oh, yeah, that's Buzz [played by Gideon Jacobs this time] and Mom [played by Clare Carey this time] and Dad [played by Jason Beghe this time]. Aunt Viv's transition flowed smoother than this!
(Kevin is watching an old home movie of his family's Christmas.)
Kate: All right, merry Christmas!
Family: Merry Christmas!
(Kate enters Kevin's room.)
Kate: Last Christmas, huh?
NC (vo; as Kevin): A shame the rest of the family died in the Bermuda Triangle. (another voice) We should've made a film about that.
Kate: We're gonna do all the same things we've always done: sing Christmas carols, put cookies and milk out for Santa...
NC: (shaking head) God, that's just how I remember Catherine O'Hara's character!
(A clip of the first Home Alone is shown)
Kevin (Macaulay Culkin): I'm sorry.
Kate (Catherine O'Hara): It's too late.
(Cut back to Home Alone 4)
Kevin: I'm sick of being everyone's favorite joke around here.
Kate: Yeah, yeah, it's hard to be the youngest.
(Cut again to Home Alone 1)
Kevin: Everyone in this family hates me.
Kate: Then maybe you should ask Santa for a new family.
(Cut to a clip of another movie (I forget which one, though))
Man: What the hell's going on? I MEAN, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!
(Cut back to Home Alone 4)
NC (vo): Oh, and here's a fun addition: the mom and dad are divorced.
Kate: I know you miss your dad. When people are married for a long time, they get into kind of a rut.
NC (vo): Christ, I would believe (A shot of the McCallister family, sans Peter and Kate, from the first two movies is superimposed) any one of these family members would separate except (A shot of Peter and Kate is now shown) these two! They were literally the only ones who seemed to like each other! It's like saying (A shot of Gomez and Morticia Addams is superimposed now) Gomez and Morticia split because they were too gloomy. There's so many reasons that doesn't work!
Kevin: (running toward front door) Dad!
Peter: Hey, big guy! (hugs Kevin)
NC (vo): Dad does drop by, though, to talk to Kate privately.
Peter: Well, you know, Natalie and I living together...and, uh, I'm gonna marry her.
(To a somber piano note, Kate stares)
NC: (incredulously) Jesus, Kevin doesn't even look that much older! How much time has passed for all this to happen?!
(Cut to a shot of the first movie showing Kate and Peter on the plane)
NC (vo): What, was he flirting with the flight attendant when they forgot Kevin the first time?
(Cut back to the movie)
Kate: You want the kids for Christmas?
Peter: Just a couple of days.
NC (vo): He wants to take the kids over Christmas to know their new stepmother better, because God knows they don't have enough emotional issues in these movies. And they randomly reveal this...
Peter: There's a royal family coming to visit. You might have a chance to play with a crown prince.
NC: (surprised) Where did that come from?!
NC (vo): It's like saying in passing, "Oh, by the way, Buzz is an alien." You don't just drop that in! Speaking of which, the kids turn him down, leaving Buzz in charge of babysitting, forcing Kevin to do all his chores.
Kevin: (to his mother) I hate Buzz! I wish I didn't have a brother or a sister!
Kate: Well, you don't mean that.
Kevin: I wish I was an only child!
NC: Am I gonna have to apologize for calling (The poster for the following is shown off to the side...) Home Alone 2 unoriginal?
NC (vo): There's copy-and-pasting, and then there's just cloning! How many times can somebody do something and not learn any lessons? (The credits are shown: David Madden and Lisa Demberg are executive producers, and Mitch Engel is the producer) David Madden, Lisa Demberg and Mitch Engel! While his father's busy being in a James Bond movie, French Stewart, playing Marv – yep, Daniel Stern's part – scopes out the place with his wife Vera, played by Missi Pyle.
Vera: You sure we can pull this off? I mean, without Harry making the plans?
Marv: Look where Harry's plans kept landing me, huh? In jail!
NC: Awww, looks like the McCallisters weren't the only ones (A shot of Harry and Marv from the first two movies is shown in the corner) to go through a divorce.
NC (vo): They plan to kidnap the prince when the royals arrive, and at the same, Kevin runs away from home to stay with his dad.
(In the security room, the guard on duty is asleep, but he is startled awake by a buzzer sound)
NC (vo; as guard): Yes, I'll do another Emmerich movie! Oh...
(The guard arrives at the front door and answers it. It's Kevin)
NC (vo): This is Prescott, played by Eric Avari, who's head of security and introduces Kevin to his future stepmom.
Natalie Kalban (Joanna Going): This is a smart house, Kevin. It does whatever you tell it to. (holds up communicator and speaks into it) Fire out.
(The fireplace is on this whole time, but on cue, the fire goes out)
NC: Hmm... (takes cell phone and speaks into it) Movie good. (To an alarm sound, the words "DOES NOT COMPUTE" appear) I understand.
(Kevin is shown an entertainment room full of screens for watching movies (including a Popeye cartoon, it seems) and playing video games. Kevin is elated as he goes over to play a video game)
NC (vo): I will give credit: if I was a kid, I would totally be in love with this room.
Natalie: Think you'll be comfortable here?
Kevin: Thanks, Natalie! This is gonna be the best Christmas ever!
NC: (as Kevin) All my other mom gives me is unconditional love! You have (A shot of a PlayStation console (with the Pi symbol in place of a number) is shown in the corner) PlayStation Pi!
NC (vo): Speaking of which, Kate finds out Kevin left for his father's house and is quickly okay with it because the movie needs to happen.
(In the entertainment room, a woman appears on the screen)
Woman: Breakfast time. Anything special you'd like?
(Suddenly, Kevin is served breakfast in bed)
NC: Sorry, we're in the wrong Culkin sequel. This is clearly (A poster for a made-up movie is shown...) Richie Rich's Tax Audit.
NC (vo): The dad and stepmom have to head out, leaving Kevin alone with Prescott and the maid named Molly.
Kevin: (to Prescott) Can you make a milkshake? (He follows him around, asking questions) Do we have chocolate? Do you think we'll have a white Christmas? (spots a dumbwaiter) What's this thing?
Prescott: It's called a dumbwaiter.
Kevin: Why is it called a waiter?
Prescott: Carries food.
Kevin: Why is it dumb?
NC: This is less like Kevin and more like that kid that was...
(A shot of the original movie is shown: Mitch Murphy, the McCallisters' eight-year-old neighbor (played by Jeffrey Wiseman) rummaging around in the McCallisters' van before it leaves for the airport)
NC (vo): ...confused for Kevin.
(The poster for this movie is shown, with an alternate title: "Kid That's Confused For Kevin")
NC (vo): Which I think was the alternate title of this movie?
Kevin: Hey, Molly, what'chu doin'?
Molly (Barbara Babcock): (dusting around the fireplace) Cleaning the house.
Kevin: (standing next to a sculpture of a naked man lying on his stomach) Gross.
Molly: Oh, no. Not in this house.
NC: Actually, I think he was talking about...
(The camera zooms in on the sculpture)
NC (vo): ...that sculpture. Nobody batted an eye...
NC: ...when they put that on set?
NC (vo): Maybe it's symbolic of the franchise, saying, "Yes, you may do me right up the ass." It didn't get a lip synch in one of those movies; I don't care, it pads out a few minutes.
(While a rendition of "I Got You (I Feel Good)" plays in the background, we cut back to the TV in the entertainment room, which has several screens showing different things, including BMX stunts, a Tex Avery cartoon with a dog holding a lightbulb, Young Frankenstein, and a deranged cartoon of a creature tearing off its green skin and pulling its eyeballs)
NC: Can the rest of the movie be watching...
(The camera zooms in on the deranged cartoon character)
NC (vo): ...whatever's in the lower right? I think it's Rob Zombie's version of Little House on the Prairie.
(Meanwhile, Marv and Vera have been camping out in their car this whole time, waiting to make their move, which comes as Peter and his fiancée come out of the house)
Marv: The coast is clear. Let's go.
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Marv and Vera get ready to sneak in to get the layout of the house before kidnapping the prince the following day.
Marv: What do you think, Vera? We're just gonna go in there tomorrow and (makes gyrating motions with his hands) start grabbing kids? Ooh! Everybody get in the van!
NC: (creeped out) Did the writing always sound this eww-y, or is it just because French Stewart is saying it?
NC (vo): Kevin spots them and, like the audience, can't believe what an unbelievable coincidence this all is.
(Kevin spots them through a telescope as they squeeze through the automatically-closing gate)
Kevin: No, it can't... (eyes widen in alarm) It is! It's Marv!
NC (vo; as Kevin): And Harry, presumably with a sex change and she's making me feel things!
(Kevin tries to activate the alarm, but Marv has taken the remote control outside)
Marv: Alarm off.
(The alarm in the house disarms, allowing them to enter. Kevin has no choice but to hide from them)
NC (vo): Prescott's doing a bang-up job looking after this place.
(Marv and Vera approach the closed door where Kevin is hiding)
Marv: (speaking into remote control) Door open.
(The door starts to open)
Kevin: (speaking into remote control of his own) Door closed.
(The door starts to close, but Marv doesn't know it until it's too late, as it hits him in the face as he's about to walk through. He clutches at his nose in pain)
NC: (as French Stewart) Had that door been anywhere near me, that's how I would have reacted! (nods)
(Kevin runs into the bathroom and turns on all the shower nozzles which blast water in Marv and Vera's faces, knocking them backwards and flooding the room)
NC (vo): Kevin sets the shower to fire hose, because of course that's a setting, filling up the bathroom, causing it to burst open.
(The flood of water washes down from the upper floor of the house and washes Marv and Vera down the stairs with the torrent. Kevin reacts in surprise as the flood hits his feet)
NC (vo): And so help me, God, I did kind of giggle at this.
(Marv and Vera spot Kevin)
Marv: (pointing at Kevin) You!
Kevin: Hello, Marv.
Vera: Is that the prince?!
Marv: Nah, that's Kevin. Kevin, Vera. Vera, Kevin.
NC: (as Marv) We have kind of a Bart Simpson-Sideshow Bob kinda thing. We've grown a lot over the years.
NC (vo): The house literally flooded with reasons not to come back, he says he'll come back...
Marv: I'll be back!
NC (vo): ...and the folks return home. They of course don't believe Kevin, because Prescott was on the most convenient of bathroom breaks...just that serendipitous kind of day...and somehow get him to apologize for protecting the house!
Peter: Well, do you have something to say?
Kevin: (to Natalie) I'm sorry for the damage of your house.
NC: (as Kevin) I do have more to add to that apology, but you'll have to follow this detailed map (A drawing of a map leading to a person's butt, with an X marking the spot in the rear is shown) to find it. (nods)
NC (vo): Kevin sneaks into the control room and finds the security tape have been tampered with. And I swear to God I didn't edit anything here; this is how the scene is presented.
(A shadow looms over Kevin, who sees the shadow and screams. It's...)
Prescott: What are you doing here? Tell me.
NC: Well, before being sucked into a Donnie Darko time warp...
(Kevin's scream is replayed, along with a shot of Shrek, who also opens his mouth in a scream)
NC (vo): ...I did a Shrek scream that even for Home Alone 4 was pretty awkward.
Kevin: Nothing! I swear.
NC (vo): Kevin of course suspects that Prescott is in cahoots with Marv and not the incredibly kind person who's like an angel named Twisty McShock Surprise.
Molly: (to Kevin) You do have an overactive imagination. My own son was the same as you at your age. A real handful.
NC: Yes, I have the greatest memories of my boys.
(A shot of the Beagle Boys is shown in the corner. With that, we go to a commercial break. Upon return, the movie resumes)
NC (vo): So Kevin tries to figure out what to do with criminals saying they're gonna return to the house and one definitely living there with him. Oh, I mean, he, uh, hates how boring Christmas is.
Kevin: No friends, no fun, no snow. This is definitely gonna be the worst Christmas ever.
NC: You texted-drove (A shot of a man texting while driving is shown in the corner) writing this, didn't you?
NC (vo): But his dad knows how to fix the problem: trimming the tree! You know, for a smart house, there sure are a lot of dumbasses living inside.
Natalie: (coming up) Evangelista's in town. Margaret's just throwing together a little impromptu supper, but we shouldn't go, should we?
NC (vo): The stepmom gets called out by friends, allowing Kevin and Dad to talk about fun things like divorce.
Peter: Adult relations are just complicated.
Kevin: I know all about the inner child, Dad. But who wants to be in a nice car when you're all alone?
NC: (as Kevin) You should think about leaving this woman while we take advantage of her incredibly expensive hospitality. (normal) Everybody in this is a monster!
NC (vo): They find out the next morning the tree's been changed by the stepmom to get ready for the party, so the father lets him open one gift early as an apology.
(Said gift is a Super Spy Ultrasonic Spy Kit)
Peter: Listening device! Isn't that cool?
NC: Christ! Why don't you just give him...
NC (vo): ...Home Security: The Toy; these films are so subtle! It looks like the rest of the family drops by to give Kevin his special teddy bear. Yeah, (A shot of Kevin from the first film toting a rifle for defense is superimposed) a kid with a rifle who sets traps would totally still have one of those!
Kate: Teddy is this transitional object.
Peter: (to Natalie) Transitional object. Something very, very special the child carries with him everywhere...
NC (vo; as Peter): That's why he left it at home. (normal; exasperated) Did you even read your damn script?!
Peter: Kevin thinks, "Oh, possibly Teddy might want a little fresh air," right?
Kate: So he rolls down the window and out flies Teddy.
Peter: He was ballistic!
NC: (as Kate) You know, forcing this woman to feel like a third wheel is making me fall in love with you again. (as Peter) That's what we were missing, our shared love of spreading misery!
NC (vo): Later that night, they go to pick up the royals, as the staff sets up for the party. Marv and Vera disguise themselves to sneak in.
(Kevin is not fooled, however)
Kevin: It's the burglars! (Prescott grabs him and lifts him up, carrying him away) Mr. Prescott!
NC: (as Kevin) In hindsight, I had days to prepare for this, but calling the police before a crime is not my strong point.
NC (vo): He escapes into the suddenly empty kitchen and traps Prescott in the cold room. It looks like the royals' flight is cancelled due to snow, so the stepmom decides to announce their engagement to still make it a memorable party.
Natalie: I know we were going to wait until after your divorce was final, but it'll make tonight so special.
Peter: Well, if it makes you happy...
Natalie: Yes! (hugs him)
NC: Happy wife with millions of dollars, happy life with millions of dollars.
NC (vo): Marv and Vera get ready to nab the Prince in a bag, but decide to test it out first so stuff can happen to them.
(Marv stuffs Vera into a bag and hangs it out of a window, lowering it down)
Vera: Let me down easy!
Marv: (holding onto the rope the bag is attached to) I always do, baby!
(He lowers her down a little more and the rope stops abruptly)
NC: She's bleeding internally.
NC (vo): Later that night, the stepmom comes in to give some kind, loving words.
Natalie: If you ever do anything like that again, you'll be out of your house so fast your head will spin.
NC: (stunned) For Norma Bates.
Natalie: So your father's getting divorced, boo-hoo. You better not cross me.
NC (vo; as Natalie): (singing) Hush little baby, don't say a word... (stops singing) Oh, that's not a lullaby, I'm saying don't fuck with me.
Kevin: Merry Christmas to all...
NC: Yes, wish merry Christmas after Halloween music. I'll at least give credit to how bludgeoningly fast this wraps up.
Kevin: ...to all a good night.
(Unbeknownst to him, however, Molly sneaks behind him and grabs him the chin. She raises a frying pan above his head with which to knock him out)
Molly: Good night!
(But before she can bring it down, she is the one who receives a blow to the head from a heavy metal tray, held by Prescott, laying her out cold)
NC (vo): Something about seeing an old woman's skull shattered by a blunt object, I have to admit, is a little funny.
(The doors open and Kevin's family rushes in. Marv and Vera, having come to, spot them, get to their feet and run for their lives)
NC (vo): Everyone arrives home, so now thwarting evil is a family affair.