Home Alone 4
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|Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox
Walt Disney Television
|Directed by||Rod Daniel|
|Produced by||French Adens|
|Written by||Debra Frank
Steve L. Hayes
|Music by||Teddy Castellucci|
|Release date||November 3, 2002
(Television ABC premiere)
October 29, 2003
|Running time||89 minutes|
Home Alone 4 (also known as Home Alone: Taking Back the House) is a 2002 American made-for-television Christmas family comedy film directed by Rod Daniel, which first aired on ABC on November 3, 2002.
It is the fourth installment 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. It is also the only film in the series to be filmed outside the United States (although set in Chicago, it was actually shot in South Africa). 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).
At the McCallisters' house in Australia, 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 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. Kate is disappointed that Kevin is with his father.
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 Prescott makes Kevin a milkshake, he goes into the security room and gets caught by 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 Bandits and new sidekick and wife Vera (Missi Pyle) outside the house. Kevin tries to get Mr. Prescott to answer the intercom, but for some reason Prescott does not answer since he is asleep. He then spies on them and drive them away by destroying the shower's water systems and flooding the house's lobby, but Peter and Natalie arrive while Kevin is cleaning up and don't believe Kevin's explanation especially since 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 by the burglars and is caught by 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 redecorated by 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 royals. 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 due to snow, so Peter and Natalie instead announce their engagement to a newly invited number of guests. 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, causing him to accidentally ruin the party. 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 problem, 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 wine cellar, but then he discovers Marv and Vera's real ally is actually Molly who also turns out to be Marv's mother as well. Molly then restrains Kevin and locks him up in the wine cellar with Mr. Prescott where he learns that he only ignored the intercom because 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 otherwise his wages will be halted. He lied to Natalie about watching the monitors to cover up his secret well-deserved breaks and not to help Marv and Vera. After apologizing to Mr. Prescott for misjudging him (and vice-versa), Kevin tries to call Buzz using Prescott's phone but he just jeers and hangs up on him. He then tries to call his mom but static disconnects their signal and when Kate calls the house she 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's phone's battery dies and with help from 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 royal prince as he goes back to Natalie's mansion to check on him. Back in the cellar, 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 argue. Marv then gets hit in the groin by Kevin's electric aircraft and 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 and tries to knock him out with a pan, but Mr. Prescott knocks her out with a serving tray. Then, he and Kevin call the police just as Peter, Kate, Buzz and Megan arrive.
As Peter, Kate, Buzz and Megan arrive, Kevin, with Buzz and Megan's help, chases Marv and Vera out of the house and checkmates them, Peter then apologizes to Kevin for not believing him, but Kevin vows never to forgive him. The royal family and Natalie arrive at the house and Natalie is confused when she sees Molly getting arrested for her crimes alongside Marv and Vera. An FBI agent reveals that Molly confessed inside to have masterminded the plot to abduct the royal family. Natalie forgets to apologise to Kevin for not believing him about the heist. Everyone has a good Christmas as Peter breaks up with Natalie, Mr. Prescott resigns, and it is a good Christmas for the McCallisters.
(in credits order)
- French Stewart as Marv, Vera's husband, Molly's son, and Harry's former sidekick. He was originally portrayed by Daniel Stern in the first two films.
- Erick Avari as Mr. Prescott, the butler.
- Barbara Babcock as Molly, the maid who is the inside person and Marv's mother.
- Jason Beghe as Peter McCallister, Kevin, Buzz and Megan's father. He was originally portrayed by John Heard in the first two films.
- Clare Carey as Kate McCallister, Kevin, Buzz and Megan's mother. She was originally portrayed by Catherine O'Hara in the first two films.
- Missi Pyle as Vera, Marv's wife who Marv first met in prison.
- Joanna Going as Natalie, Peter's girlfriend and Buzz, Megan, and Kevin's future stepmother.
- Gideon Jacobs as Buzz McCallister, Kevin and Megan's brother. He was originally portrayed by Devin Ratray in the first two films.
- Chelsea Russo as Megan McCallister, Kevin and Buzz's sister. She was originally portrayed by Hillary Wolf in the first two films.
- Mike Weinberg as Kevin McCallister: The main character. He defends the house from Marv and Vera. He was originally portrayed by Macaulay Culkin in the first two films.
Home Alone 4 was panned by reviews from critics and fans of the first two films. At Rotten Tomatoes, Home Alone 4 currently has no score on the tomatometer, but it does have a 40% audience 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 casting and writing. Several reviews also criticized the film for low-budget production values. The film currently holds a low rating of 2.2 out of 10 at IMDb.
A planned TV series based on the movie was cancelled because of the poor reviews.
On March 15, 2012, ABC Family announced that Home Alone 5 was in production, which premiered on that network during the 2012 Christmas season. The film stars Christian Martyn as 10-year-old main character Finn Baxter. The story centers on the family's relocation from California to Maine, where Finn becomes convinced that his new house is haunted. When his parents become stranded across town and is left home alone with his sister Alexis, Finn sets traps to catch his new home's ghosts, but instead prove troublesome for a group of thieves (played by Malcolm McDowell, Debi Mazar and Eddie Steeples). The film also stars Edward Asner, is produced by Fox Television Studios, and is directed by Peter Hewitt.