Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (Chris Columbus, 1992, USA)

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in many ways represents an improvement on the prior film. If the first film lacked something, it was the sense of wish fulfillment - Kevin's activities, while his family was away, were rather prosaic (grocery shopping, etc.). Here he is in a luxury hotel in Manhattan, ordering room service. Exploring the Big Apple. Maxing out his father's credit card. It's a more interesting set-up, and the big city setting is a great change of pace from the idyllic Chicago suburb of the first film. 

To enjoy Home Alone 2, you have to suspend your disbelief. The original film's premise was hard to accept, but to accept that the same family would lose their son within a single year is very hard to accept. There is something humorous about how bad they are at keeping track of him. Also noticeable in the sequel is that the parents, particularly the mother (Catherine O'Hara), seem to care less about finding Kevin. Yes, there is a search for him, but the stakes feel much lower than in the first film. The familiar premise seems to also have made Kevin's family feel this will all work out in the end.

Critics criticized the darker tone of this film, and as someone said there is something like Saw for kids in this film. While the violence goes to Loony Tunes level, there is something quite brutal about Kevin throwing bricks at the Wet Bandits. The pranks are quite violent overall and the setting - a dingy New York apartment building - makes it feel more like a Freddy movie than the original Home Alone. The supporting cast is great, with Tim Curry in full Pennywise mode as the concierge at the hotel (he had just come off making the TV miniseries of Stephen King's IT).



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