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It’s Time to Adjudicate the Real Criminals of Christmas: The Parents in Home Alone (Slate)


It’s Time to Adjudicate the Real Criminals of Christmas: The Parents in Home Alone – By Luke Winkie (Slate) / Dec 20, 2023

Much has been said about the criminal charges Home Alone’s Kevin McCallister would face in court. But what about the bigger offenders: his child-neglecting parents?

There has been a lot of speculation about the rap sheet of one Kevin McCallister—better known as the kid from the Christmas classic Home Alone. In the film, McCallister booby-traps a two-story mansion in the stately enclaves of Chicago with the intention of stymieing a home invasion, which, taken in a vacuum, falls into the relatively safe legal waters of self-defense. However, McCallister also seems to revel in his abuse of two of the dumbest criminals alive, to the point that it could be accurately categorized as elder abuse—not only does he light their heads on fire, he shatters their rib cages, lures them into a mildewed basement that has been converted into a torture chamber, and so on.

You can scroll through countless Reddit threads and SEO-friendly law firm blogs adjudicating the extent of Kevin’s crimes, as well as the depths of his disconcerting psychopathic imagination. But on my most recent rewatch of Home Alone—my fiancée and I savoring the yuletide maiming of Joe Pesci, as we do every year—I found myself considering a different, and far more pressing ambiguity. Seriously, what kind of punishment would Kevin’s parents be facing? They’re the real villains in this story! You can’t just leave your 8-year-old at home for days on end and get away with it, right? Right?

In Home Alone, much effort is taken to concoct the precise combination of chaotic elements that could cause people like Kate and Peter McCallister to inadvertently abandon their youngest son during the Christmas holiday. (There are botched head counts, disposed plane tickets, and a breezy, extremely pre-9/11 airport security system all working to their disadvantage like a perfect storm.) Midway through their trans-Atlantic flight to Paris—where the McCallisters have inexplicably decided to spend Christmas—Kate realizes they’ve made a horrible mistake. Kevin, it turns out, was forgotten. She immediately races back to Chicago by herself—Peter is a little, uh, checked out—arriving three days later, on Christmas morning, hours after Kevin brutalized and humiliated the two home invaders. The film ends before any serious police investigation into the various vectors of child endangerment that occurred, and you’re left believing that everyone in the McCallister family lived happily ever after. (Or, at least until the sequel.)

CONTINUE > https://slate.com/human-interest/2023/12/home-alone-movie-kevin-2023-christmas-legal-consequences.html


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