It doesn’t take a lawyer to look back and see that laws were broken all over the place in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York by pretty much everyone involved, especially little Kevin McCallister.
Was Macaulay Culkin playing a little blonde angel defending his home from two lowly thieves, or a genius sociopath who took things into his own hands like some kind of twisted vigilante with something to prove? It really all depends how you look at things and if you’re amenable to getting gamed by The Good Son.
Spanning everything from breaking and entering, credit card theft, to looking at Playboy as a minor, here’s at look at Kevin McCallister’s trail of bad behavior and broken laws in Home Alone and Home Alone 2 in honor of Macaulay Culkin’s 35th birthday.
The laws on what technically counts as child abandonment are complicated and change from state-to-state. But we know that the McCallisters were in Illinois. According to the Illinois Attorney General‘s website, child abandonment is technically when a “child who is under the age of 13 without supervision by a responsible person over the age of 14 for a period of 24 hours or more.” Well, Kevin’s only 8 and was home alone for at least two days. And Harry and Marv probably don’t count as adult supervision.
Also, when he woke up after wishing that his family was gone, he didn’t even think to go to a neighbor’s or friend’s house. He decided to stay at home alone and do all the things he couldn’t do before. While you can’t entirely blame him, he does share part of it. He didn’t have to be home alone all that time, so this sort of counts as bad behavior on his part.
Buzz’s Dirty Mags
Maybe he’s reading them for the articles, but Kevin is way too young to be reading such adult content. Shame on him, and shame on Buzz for having it and for doing such an ass job of hiding it. Is he just lazy, or is Catherine O’Hara’s character just not the type to go snooping? Based on her attention to detail when doing a head count, I’m going to go with the latter. Harry and Marv would have been better parents.
It’s hard enough to believe that a family could forget a kid at home when they go on vacation. But it’s even harder to believe that they’d lose that same kid on another vacation. He’d probably be on a leash or something by then.
You can just tell by the smile on Kevin’s face when he realizes he’s in New York City all alone that he’s up to no good. Honestly, his parents shouldn’t even get in trouble for this one. Fool them once, shame on them. Fool them twice, shame on Kevin.
Credit Card Fraud
Identity theft has been a problem for a while. You’ll sign up for an account online or swipe your card to get gas somewhere and, all of a sudden, you get charged for five flat-screen televisions. But that’s usually done by someone you don’t even know. You can only imagine how betrayed Kevin’s dad felt when he found out his son charged $967 to his credit card in room service fees with nothing more than a tape recorder. This has gotta be AT LEAST a juvy-level offense.
Harry and Marv didn’t learn. They broke themselves out of prison and changed their MO from being house burglars to robbing retail locations in the dark of night. Unfortunately for them, they happened to target the same toy store their former nemesis visited.
Kevin may have thought he was doing the right thing here, but vandalism is vandalism. If he knows how to book a hotel room, he knows how to call the police and anonymously let them know that two guys are currently robbing a toy store on Christmas Eve and give them a description… and photographic evidence. Instead, he takes a brick to the window and sets off the alarm… and the chase back to the townhouse that Kevin, himself, broke into.
Aggravated Assault, Assault With A Deadly Weapon, And Attempted Murder
We wouldn’t get to see Kevin single-handedly fend off two grown men if Harry and Marv weren’t trying to rob the house in the first place. With all intents of breaking in and having their way with the place, they ended up falling into all of the booby traps and Rube Goldberg devices that only a genius 8-year-old could come up with. But, in the second film, Kevin lured Harry and Marv into his web of pain with pre-meditation and wanton apathy for the sanctity of life and due process.
Yeah, yeah. It’s just a movie. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Kevin threw multiple bricks at Marv’s head with the intent to maim. “Direct hit!” That’s intent! I got two words for you, Kev… subdural and hematoma. Put them together and that spells murder wrap, little boy. Same thing goes for his dalliance with high voltage electricity and, I assure you, there’s no lovely cheese pizza (all to yourself) in prison.
Really, you can take your pick of exactly when it happened, but there was a point where Kevin clearly went past just defending himself and the switch flipped, and he started to enjoy dispensing his own brand of torturous “justice.”
We didn’t see what happened to Kevin after the Home Alone 2 credits rolled. Maybe he disappeared again into the New York night, seeking out other criminals to dispense street justice, too? Is there anyone willing to say that crossing Home Alone with Death Wish wouldn’t have been more entertaining than Home Alone 3?