12 Reasons Why Home Alone Could Never Happen Today

Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Home Alone is a holiday-movie staple for millennial kids. Christmas spirit aside, the real magic in seeing a child live out our secret fantasy: total freedom — and whooping some adult ass. Who didn't imagine how awesome it would be to have the house all to themselves? (Call me a Scrooge, but during peak family-bonding time, the hoard of relatives can be so overwhelming that I may still daydream about an empty house. Just for a day.)

We were all a little jealous of Kevin McCallister, livin' the dream. Yeah, the premise was a little unlikely, and the series of events that led to Kevin being left behind a little too contrived — but the point is, it was convincing enough to suspend our disbelief for two hours.

The movie turns 25 this week, and delightful as it still is in 2015, the construct just doesn't hold up. Technology makes it easier for parents to check up on their kid than ever before — even from a continent away. And a lot of the McCallisters' problems would be easily solved by some handy, modern-day apps and services. Not to go all Luddite about the whole thing, but while it's fun to ponder the plausibility of a childhood favorite today, it's also kind of a bummer. Damn you, technology! Here are 12 reasons why Home Alone could never happen today.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
E-ticketing
Kevin's ticket would never get soaked in milk and thrown in the trash, because he wouldn't have a paper ticket. The whole family would check in online the night before their flight, and if they didn't print out their boarding passes at home, they could do so at the airport. Also, this would obviously be almond milk. Just sayin'.
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Smartphone Alarms
The power goes out the night before the family's departure. But today, everyone’s iPhone alarms would go off, and the classic "we slept in!" moment — and the ensuing montage of mayhem — would never happen.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Airport Security
Uncle Frank would be right about this one today: "There's no way on Earth we can make this plane, it leaves in 45 minutes!" I don't care how close the McCallisters live to O'Hare — with metal detectors, full-body scanners, thorough passport verification, carry-on x-ray scanners, and pat downs — the family would be turned away at the check-in counter. It's an international flight! (Never mind about the backup during peak holiday travel.)
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Image: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Home Security
Okay people, this is easily a million-dollar home, minimum. The McCallisters would definitely have some kind of high-tech security system installed, or at least a burglar alarm — standard issue in wealthy suburbia these days.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Social Media
Today, Kate could sound the alarm on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And then she could snoop on her son's accounts to make sure he's alive, only to discover tweets like, "OMG YAS family accidentally left me at home best xmas present EVERRR!"
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Netflix
Okay, so this isn't instrumental to the plot, but it's a biggie: That gangster movie Kevin watches wouldn't be on black-and-white video tape — it would be cued up on Netflix, HBO, DVR, Amazon, Hulu, etc. And Kevin would probably be content streaming that HD rubbish for days. In that case, would he have time to set up all those sadistic yet brilliant traps? Doubtful.
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Image: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Online Shopping
Kevin could just order his groceries online. Take your pick: Delivery.com, Amazon, FreshDirect, etc. But then we would all be deprived of this iconic, universally relatable, bag-busting moment — and a GIF that perfectly captures how defeated we feel when the bottom falls out in our very adult lives.
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Seamless
Kevin would just order pizza on Seamless. Prepaid cheesy goodness and no social interaction — but that would also mean missing out on this ingenious staging of a faux shoot-out.
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Airbnb
The crooks, dumb as they are, would assume someone was Airbnb-ing the place if they saw people in the house while the usual residents were away. Or, the McCallisters really would be Airbnb-ing the place, because this is one hella-sweet pad.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Smartphones
A phone book and a pay phone: the ultimate form of 20th-century communication. Today, Kevin’s mom would just start a group text that looks something like this: "HELP PLZ MY SON IS HOME ALONE." No overseas coverage, you say? She could just connect to WiFi and use iMessage, or download WhatsApp.
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Photo: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Overreactive Police
Say what you will about American law enforcement today, but cops in 2015 don't get a panicked international call from a parent wailing that they've left their kid at home alone and continue to munch their donuts. And if they sent guys over to a house to check it out, they would have no qualms about breaking down that door.
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Image: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox.
Uber
When Kevin’s mom is stranded at a midwestern airport, she would just get an Uber. Or a Lyft. Or a Sidecar. Instead of relying on the kindness of polka-enthusiast strangers and making new best friends on a long, music-filled van ride.
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