This Ingenious Home Alone And Die Hard Theory Will Blow Your Christmas Socks Off
Home Alone and Die Hard are arguably two of the most iconic Christmas movie franchises of all time, despite both being pretty graphic in parts.
No festive season would be complete after all without a heated argument over whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie (of course it is, don’t be silly), or wondering whether you could survive even one of the nightmarish traps set by Kevin at his parents’ opulent mansion.
However, wince-worthy violence and iconic villains aside, Die Hard and Home Alone have many, many striking similarities that just can’t be ignored. Indeed, one could argue that the movies genuinely feel like a series of events from within the same person’s extraordinarily eventful lifetime.
I was recently sat about discussing Christmas movies – ’tis the season after all – and was suddenly struck by how the first three Home Alone movies (let’s ignore number four) very neatly mirror the first three Die Hard movies.
Allow me to elaborate. In the first movie, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is separated from his family as he valiantly attempts to fight off a bunch of often-comical terrorists in a high-rise office building.
John and his estranged wife Holly Gennero-McClane (Bonnie Bedelia) are not on particularly good terms at the beginning of the story, but the respective fear they endure as the plot unfolds pulls them back into each other’s arms, the hopeful conclusion sealed with a reconciliatory kiss.
Compare this to the fall-out between Kevin and his mother Kate (Catherine O’Hara), with the youngster initially wishing his family would disappear. However – after demonstrating McClane-esque resourcefulness – Kevin learns to appreciate his loved ones, and the bit where he runs into Kate’s arms makes for one of the most moving moments of the film.
Okay, so the plots between the first two films do bear similarities, and many would put this down to mere coincidence or just a case of universal themes of family and forgiveness emerging in many such blockbusters.
But then we get to the second two instalments, both of which are – crucially – about things going drastically, harrowingly wrong at the airport.
In both cases, the action is taken to another city. Chicago native Kevin is headed to Miami with his family, while New Yorker John – who we last saw grumbling about LA – finds himself a fish out of water yet again, this time in Washington DC, waiting for Holly to arrive at Dulles International Airport.
However – surprise, surprise – both protagonists find their festive plans seriously derailed. Spun about in the predictable chaos of a McCallister family outing, Kevin ends up on the wrong flight and is left wandering New York all alone after dashing on the wrong plane.
John also encounters catastrophe after noticing two men acting strangely in the airport bar. This leads to a fatal shoot-out, and ultimately throws John right into the centre of yet another terrorism plot.
Unfortunately, John receives a less-than-supportive response from airport police, who treat him with the sort of suspicion Kevin has to contend with from staff at the Ritzy Plaza Hotel during his stay. Seriously, can’t a kid order $900 worth of room service on his dad’s credit card in peace?
Home Alone 3 and Die Hard 3 are notably similar in that they both introduce a whole new dynamic, and both are still pretty decent.
With Culkin having aged out the character of Culkin, Home Alone 3 introduces a new and equally inventive central character named Alex Pruitt (Alex D. Linz), with new – and more ambitious – villains to contend with.
This is also, notably, the first and only movie not to be set around Christmastime. Although there’s plenty of snow, the action here takes place after the holiday season, with Alex left home alone with chicken pox rather than any festive c*ck-up on the part of his parents.
In a similar vein, Die Hard 3 – or Die Hard with a Vengeance, to give it its proper name – is also the first non-Christmassy movie in the franchise, bringing us full-on summer blockbuster vibes.
Although – thankfully – Willis still plays the character of John (and really, who else could possibly follow in his bare footsteps?), this is also a sequel that shakes things up a bit.
Once again, John and Holly have called it quits – although there is that little hopeful phone call again – with John’s on-off wife being pretty much absent from the action.
Most interestingly, we see the introduction of Samuel L. Jackson as Zeus Carver, with the pair forming an iconic back-and-forth friendship rarely seen in sequels.
The more I thought of the two series as mirrors held up against each other, the more I started to feel that Kevin and John really are one and the same person.
Indeed, it’s almost as if Die Hard is one man working through the significant traumas of his youth, using the hard-won wisdom learned initially through repeated episodes of abandonment.
Even their surnames are remarkably similar, which honestly leads me to conclude that Kevin simply switched his name around a bit as an adult after his family left him behind on one-too-many occasions.
From their comparable quippy dialogue (‘Yippee-Ki-Yay, Motherf*****’/’Keep the change ya filthy animal’) to the way they both seem to truly relish getting one over on dangerous criminals, there’s no way you can convince me that these two aren’t at least distantly related.
After hopping on Reddit, I was relieved to find that I wasn’t going completely mad and that there are countless people out there who also believe that Kevin and John are the same person, remarking on their tendencies to form meaningful bonds quickly, as well as their shared sense of dark humour.
In terms of how Kevin became John, many believe that Kevin would have been naturally drawn to a career in law enforcement after his early brush with the criminal underworld, although I honestly dread to think what kind of cop he would be.
Although Kevin is from the Chicago suburbs and John is a hardened New Yorker, it makes sense to me that – having fallen in love with the Big Apple during his escapades in Home Alone 2 – Kevin would have headed to New York as as an adult, maybe hellbent on protecting all the toy stores in the city.
Honestly, if nothing else, this means I absolutely can’t do anything else this weekend but sit around binge-ing these stone cold classics. Does it sound like I’m ordering a pizza? Most probably.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Most Read StoriesMost Read