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How Many ‘Home Alone’ Films Are There?

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1990’s Home Alone — and by extension its (superior — don’t @ me) sequel, 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York — has been a fixture of the festive season for the past 30+ years.

In fact, until 2018’s The Grinch (you know, the animated one with Benedict Cumberbatch) came along, the Macauley Culkin classic remained the highest-grossing Christmas movie the world over. It’s no surprise, then, that the Home Alone mine has been well and truly hollowed out for all its worth, with various sequels having followed those beloved two originals. First by 20th Century Fox and then by Disney, following its acquisition of the brand in 2019.

However, with only the first two having made any real impact on pop culture — similar to the Terminator franchise, a comparison I did not expect to make when I woke up this morning — you would be forgiven for not knowing exactly how many times a smart-alec kid has managed to make mincemeat of some bumbling burglars. Well, here’s your answer.

The Home Alone movie timeline, explained

Screenshot via 20th Century Fox

To get down to brass tacks — but not step on them in our bare feet like Marv — the Home Alone franchise comprises six movies. In another bizarre mirror with the Terminator films, the Home Alone multiverse exists across multiple timelines rather than following one consistent continuity.

As you probably know, the original two Home Alones follow Kevin McCallister (Culkin) as he battles Harry and Marv over two consecutive Christmases. The franchise continued in 1998’s Home Alone 3, which starred Alex (Alex D. Linz), who one-ups Kevin by foiling a four-strong team of internationally wanted criminals who try to break into his house to retrieve a super-powerful microchip hidden in his toy car. Other than also being set in Chicago, there are no direct ties to the earlier films, so we can assume it takes place in its own continuity.

Things limped on four years later in 2002’s Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House, which — brace yourselves, folks — does the unthinkable and recasts Culkin as Kevin McCallister. This made-for-TV film features Mike Weinberg as Kevin, and is seemingly set after the events of the first two films (except it takes place in the early 2000s). Marv (French Stewart) returns with new partner Vera (Missi Pyle) in tow to ransack the mansion where Kevin is staying for Christmas, belonging to his dad’s rich girlfriend. Home Alone 4 makes a modicum more sense when you find out it was originally developed as a pilot for a TV show that never happened.

It took 10 years for another entry to materialize in the form of 2012’s Home Alone: The Holiday Heist. Realizing that attempting to replace the cast of the original films is not the way to go, Home Alone 5 took the same route as the third film and brought in Christian Martyn as new protagonist Finn, a tech-savvy kid who comes up against a group of thieves — led by Malcolm McDowell — who attempt to heist a valuable painting from his house.

Last but, actually, probably least, we have 2022’s Home Sweet Home Alone, the Disney Plus relaunch of the brand. Starring Archie Yates as Max Mercer, this one follows a vaguely different format as, while Max is indeed accidentally left behind as his family goes on vacation, the thieves who attempt to break into his house are just a regular, cash-strapped couple (Rob Delaney, Ellie Kemper) who mistakenly believe Max has stolen a valuable doll from their home and want it back. Nevertheless, they still fall foul to various painful pranks and booby traps.

Home Sweet Home Alone is notable for being the first of the non-Culkin sequels to be confirmed to definitely take place in the same continuity. How do we know that? Because Devin Ratray reprises his role as Buzz McCallister, who has grown up to become a police officer. Hopefully this is one small step towards the seventh film we all really want to happen — Culkin returning as Kevin to battle Joe Pesci’s Harry and Daniel Stern’s Marv one more time.


1990’s Home Alone — and by extension its (superior — don’t @ me) sequel, 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York — has been a fixture of the festive season for the past 30+ years.

In fact, until 2018’s The Grinch (you know, the animated one with Benedict Cumberbatch) came along, the Macauley Culkin classic remained the highest-grossing Christmas movie the world over. It’s no surprise, then, that the Home Alone mine has been well and truly hollowed out for all its worth, with various sequels having followed those beloved two originals. First by 20th Century Fox and then by Disney, following its acquisition of the brand in 2019.

However, with only the first two having made any real impact on pop culture — similar to the Terminator franchise, a comparison I did not expect to make when I woke up this morning — you would be forgiven for not knowing exactly how many times a smart-alec kid has managed to make mincemeat of some bumbling burglars. Well, here’s your answer.

The Home Alone movie timeline, explained

Kevin McCallister screams at Harry and Marv (out of frame) on a New York sidewalk in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.
Screenshot via 20th Century Fox

To get down to brass tacks — but not step on them in our bare feet like Marv — the Home Alone franchise comprises six movies. In another bizarre mirror with the Terminator films, the Home Alone multiverse exists across multiple timelines rather than following one consistent continuity.

As you probably know, the original two Home Alones follow Kevin McCallister (Culkin) as he battles Harry and Marv over two consecutive Christmases. The franchise continued in 1998’s Home Alone 3, which starred Alex (Alex D. Linz), who one-ups Kevin by foiling a four-strong team of internationally wanted criminals who try to break into his house to retrieve a super-powerful microchip hidden in his toy car. Other than also being set in Chicago, there are no direct ties to the earlier films, so we can assume it takes place in its own continuity.

Things limped on four years later in 2002’s Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House, which — brace yourselves, folks — does the unthinkable and recasts Culkin as Kevin McCallister. This made-for-TV film features Mike Weinberg as Kevin, and is seemingly set after the events of the first two films (except it takes place in the early 2000s). Marv (French Stewart) returns with new partner Vera (Missi Pyle) in tow to ransack the mansion where Kevin is staying for Christmas, belonging to his dad’s rich girlfriend. Home Alone 4 makes a modicum more sense when you find out it was originally developed as a pilot for a TV show that never happened.

It took 10 years for another entry to materialize in the form of 2012’s Home Alone: The Holiday Heist. Realizing that attempting to replace the cast of the original films is not the way to go, Home Alone 5 took the same route as the third film and brought in Christian Martyn as new protagonist Finn, a tech-savvy kid who comes up against a group of thieves — led by Malcolm McDowell — who attempt to heist a valuable painting from his house.

Last but, actually, probably least, we have 2022’s Home Sweet Home Alone, the Disney Plus relaunch of the brand. Starring Archie Yates as Max Mercer, this one follows a vaguely different format as, while Max is indeed accidentally left behind as his family goes on vacation, the thieves who attempt to break into his house are just a regular, cash-strapped couple (Rob Delaney, Ellie Kemper) who mistakenly believe Max has stolen a valuable doll from their home and want it back. Nevertheless, they still fall foul to various painful pranks and booby traps.

Home Sweet Home Alone is notable for being the first of the non-Culkin sequels to be confirmed to definitely take place in the same continuity. How do we know that? Because Devin Ratray reprises his role as Buzz McCallister, who has grown up to become a police officer. Hopefully this is one small step towards the seventh film we all really want to happen — Culkin returning as Kevin to battle Joe Pesci’s Harry and Daniel Stern’s Marv one more time.

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