Just how lucky will the guests who get to stay at the McCallister house later this month be? I foresee trouble
In the interests of public service, I need to make you aware of a trap. Yesterday, a property became available on Airbnb. It is a large home in the Chicago area, available for one night only and it is suspiciously cheap. Look, it’s the Home Alone house.
Apparently, for $18 (£13.50), you and three friends can stay overnight in the iconic McCallister residence. You will be greeted by the actor who played Buzz McCallister. There will be pizza and other 90s junk food. There will be a mirror for you to scream into. There may well be a tarantula. It all seems too good to be true, doesn’t it? This is why I am convinced that whoever ends up staying there will be robbed.
Plenty of equally iconic movie locations have been turned into rental properties. Tony Stark’s log cabin from Avengers: Endgame is on Airbnb, for example, as is the Swan house from the Twilight films. You can even stay in the bus from Spice World, if your interests happen to include both claustrophobia and bouts of unwarranted nostalgia.
I don’t have a problem with any of these properties. As locations go, they’re all relatively benign. The cabin is where Tony Stark invented the time travel necessary to defeat Thanos. The Twilight house offered young Bella Swan a safe haven from all the horny teenage vampires and werewolves that plagued her every move. The worst thing you could expect from staying a night in the Spice World bus is an unwanted Meat Loaf cameo.
But the Home Alone house? Something doesn’t add up. Ostensibly the property is being made available to coincide with the release of the Disney+ movie Home Sweet Home Alone, but that doesn’t make any sense. Why mark the release of one film by showing people around the location of the superior original? Surely that would just underline how unnecessary Home Sweet Home Alone is? It’d be like celebrating the stage musical Cats by inviting you to Rebel Wilson’s house and forcing you to watch her sing.
No, something else must be going on. My fear, and I don’t think it is unfounded, is that Buzz McCallister has somehow fallen in with the Wet Bandits. Which I know doesn’t make sense, because the whole point of the Wet Bandits is to rob houses that have been left vacant by their occupiers, and not filled with a bunch of gawping, giddy movie fans.
But times change. My theory is that, following the events of Home Alone and Home Alone 2, the Wet Bandits became addicted to the chase. They no longer enjoy simple burglaries. Now the only thing that gets them off is the relentless psychological terrorism of strangers. Therefore, working alongside Buzz, it seems natural to assume that they have arranged for the McCallister property – a house they know inside out, remember – to be occupied by a new set of people. Once they’re settled in, the Wet Bandits will storm in, cause untold bodily damage, take all of their belongings and then leave.
One way around this would be for the guests to jerry-rig a number of violent Rube Goldberg-style devices designed to repeatedly bring the Wet Bandits to the point of death. The other, more practical way, would be to not stay in the McCallister house at all. Just stay at home and watch Home Alone instead. The original, not the remake. You’re not a monster.