This review for the John Hughes Blogathon comes from Mike of Screenkicker!. Thanks for the review, Mike! Let’s see his true thoughts on Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. 🙂
Home Alone 2 – The original torture porn movie?
In 2006 the phrase ‘torture porn’ was coined. Torture porn is films that focus on the minutae of torture and violence in a completely gratuitous way. The title was first applied to the movies of directors like Eli Roth (Hostel) and James Wan (Saw) who shocked audiences with a different kind of violence. However there was a famous director who was making what could be interpreted as torture porn as far back as the early 90s. The director – John Hughes, the films – the Home Alone movies. Let me explain:
Home Alone 2 tells the story of psychopathic child Kevin McCallister, a precocious little shit with a fascination with methods of hurting other humans. Kevin knows he can’t perform these atrocities with his family around so he steals his father’s credit cards and cash, slips away at the airport and heads to the big apple. Here he commits fraud, associates with a crazy pigeon lady, and attempts to murder two petty crooks.
The movie climaxes with a final showdown between Kevin and the two burglars. If you’ve seen The Raid or Dredd you’ll have some idea what happens next. The burglars attempt to ascend a tower block to catch the bloodthirsty child. Things go very bad and here’s where the torture porn comes in. Among the sick ways that Kev tries to kill the unlucky victims are:
– repeatedly smashes Marv in the head with bricks
– fires staples into Harry’s testicles
– drops an iron on Marv’s face
– sets Harry on fire
– electrocutes Marv with an arc welder
There are many more forms of stomach-churning torture that really gives Hostel and Saw a run for their blood money. If you think about it Kevin is like a peer of other horror movie bad guys like Freddie Krueger and Jason Voerhees. Essentially he’s the original Jigsaw from Saw. Don’t get me wrong, Home Alone 2 is a great, Christmassy, fun, wish fulfilment fantasy and I watch it every year. My point is if you look really closely the movie becomes the perfect companion piece to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Which in my book is a good thing. So remember – John Hughes invented torture porn with a children’s movie which makes him a subversive genius.
**FYI: Mike is still accepting entries for a Blogathon he’s planning over at Screenkicker. All you need to do is “a piece about a movie and/or actor from where you live or where you’re from”. You can find the full details of this Blogathon HERE. Sounds like good fun, Mike! 🙂