As we mark the 30th anniversary of Home Alone, it’s the perfect time to reflect on what made this movie outstanding. What is the storyline? Comical scenes? Or the genius of an 8-year-old? All these played a part, but the real deal has to be over 10 booby traps that Kevin deployed on the sprawling McCallister’s House. Let’s revisit them and see what impact they would have had in real life.
Not your typical booby trap, Kevin uses the BB gun to shoot at the burglars who try to peer in through the doggy door. He lets them know they’re in for a surprise.
Icy Front Steps
Kevin uses the cold Chicago weather to his advantage to execute this trap. He pours water all over the steps. When Harry tries walking up the stairs, he slips and falls over many times.
Fake Overhead Lightbulb
Once Marv breaks into the basement, he fumbles looking for the light switch. He pulls what appears to be a cord for the overhead light bulb not knowing Kevin has connected the cord to a hot iron. Seconds later, a hot iron box drops down the laundry chute and hits straight in the face sending him tumbling down on the floor. When he wakes up, he has a sole plate mark imprinted on his face. He’s lucky if he got out with his eye socket intact.
Harry walks up the front door confidently and grabs the doorknob not knowing Kevin has heated it up until it is red hot. The doorknob burns his palm and leaves him with an “M” mark. He jumps back screaming then blows cold air to cool the wound. While the doorknob isn’t hot enough to start a flame, it’s likely to leave Harry with a nasty would that could get infected.
Having been stopped from entering through the front door, Harry decides to try his luck by going through the back door. Kevin has set up a blowtorch trap that’s triggered the moment someone pushes the door. Within seconds of pushing the door, the blowtorch shoots a flame that burns Harry’s marvin. He rushes out and dips his head on the ice to put out the fire.
Tar-Covered Basement Steps
Kevin smears the basement steps in their home with tar. When Marv climbs the steps, he gets stuck. He extricates himself by removing his shoes and socks then takes a step only for a nail to piece his foot. It’s genius for Kevin to set the nail trap and cover the basement with tar without getting hurt or stuck.
When Marv and Harry meet up in the living room, they swear they’ll get at Kevin who’s standing at the top of the stairs. As they try to go up, they trip on toy cars that Kevin has scattered around the foot of the stairs.
Marv sneaks into the house through the window. He jumps on glass ornaments, which Kevin has scattered around the window barefoot. The ornaments break and pierce his feet, causing him to fall down.
The Wet Bandits try to scale the stairs to get to Kevin again. But they’re thwarted. Kevin swings a full paint can that hands from the top railing, and it knocks them both in the heads. They fall and tumble down the steps.
Rope to the Treehouse
In a last ditch effort to get Kevin, Marv and Harry try to scale the rope that connects the McCallister’s house to the treehouse a couple of feet away. Kevin waits for them to start scaling the rope then gets a pruning shears and snips the rope, sending both men crushing onto a brick wall.
Home Alone has over a dozen interesting booby traps some of which would be deadly in real life. Without these traps, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the genius of an 8-year-old who stops burglars and saves the family home.