CATEGORIES Movie NewsIn 1994, when I was eight years old, I became obsessed with "Home Alone." At the time, I owned both "Home Alone" and "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" on VHS, along with two "Home Alone" posters, a "Home Alone" video game and even the novelization of "Home Alone" by Todd Strasser. I have no explanation for my fandom, other than the fact that I saw the film's protagonist, Kevin McCalister, as some type of hero, one who was forced to defend his house from two burglars on Christmas.
Soon enough, I found myself writing a letter to the film's writer/producer John Hughes. Several months earlier, I had created a new chapter in the "Home Alone" series, and was now wondering whether Mr. Hughes would be willing to option it. At that point, my only knowledge of the filmmaker was that he was somehow involved with creating "Home Alone," so I assumed he was the right person to go to if I wanted to get a third one made.
Dear John Hughes,
My name is Alex. I read the book Home Alone by Todd Strasser but I wanted to write to you instead. I wrote Home Alone 3: Lost in Disney World! I would like you to write me back and see how the story is. I would like to ask you a few questions. Can you put Home Alone 3 in the movie theater and can you send me your picture? I will send you mine. I may have made mistakes in the story. If I made some can you tell me what they are? I know how to do one special effect! It's disappearing in movies! I go to College Garden Elementary School and I'm in the second grade. Did Todd Strasser write Home Alone 2? What's your hobby? When did you start making movies? Why do you like making movies? And do you always make movies? If you write back to me don't write in cersev [cursive]. Where were you born? When were you born? Where do you work? What elementary school did you go to? What other movies did you make? Did you make any non-fiction movies? What's your most favorite movie you made? What was your first movie you made? How did you come up with the idea for Home Alone? Did you ever write any fiction or non-fiction books? And if you write back please send my story with it. Do you make movies in Hollywood? And have you made any PG-13 or R-rated movies? Well that's all I need to say.
Reading this letter for the first time in almost 20 years, it's clear that I was a no-nonsense eight-year-old, ready to take the world by storm with my brilliant ("brilliant") writing and knack for storytelling (Also clear: I had no clue who this John Hughes guy really was.)
Now, with Christmas right around the corner, I thought the time had come to finally share the version of "Home Alone 3" I originally sent to John Hughes. Below, I have retyped a few key passages from the story with some added notes. I also cleaned up a bit (ok, a lot) of the bad spelling and grammar.
CHAPTER 1 PACKING UP -- Kevin Mcalister 13 year old walkt arond the house trying to do something. Then he bumpt into his brother Buzz who said "You filthe little skunk. Don't bump into me again!" Then Kevin walkt upstairs into his mom and dads room. "I don't have anything to do" said Kevin. "I have something for you to do," he said. "You can fix the VCR. Your Uncle Frank can't do it. And while you're fixing the VCR, I'm going to put some stinky socks on the pizza we're eating tonite."
And the story begins with a bang, as I jump right into the plot with a few classic "Home Alone" character tropes: bullying by Kevin's meathead brother Buzz, and the stupidity of his knucklehead uncle. Also, an interesting twist there with the stinky socks. Not only is it not Buzz or Kevin massacring the family pizza, it's their dad. Perhaps I wanted "Home Alone 3" to really explore the effects of Father-Son genealogy? Moving on...
When they were done with their dinner, everybody was about to go to bed. They were supposed to leave at one am in the morning because their plane left at 3 am. At 12:30 in the morning they weren't awake. Then the doorbell rang ding-dong at 2am. It woke everbody except Kevin.
Typical, McCalister family. Typical.
Then Kevin looked at the clock and saw it was 2am. He ran downstairs as fast as he could then ran out the front door and said "Stop! Stop!" The driver stopped and then Kevin ran in the van.
Close call, Kevin! Also, nice job, me! Everyone would've expected Kevin to miss the van, but he didn't! And now the sad realization that at the age of eight I was accomplishing the same tired plot lines Hollywood still tries on audiences today.
As they went thru the airport doors, Kevin looked and saw Harry and Marv, the two twerps. They were walking towards Kevin. Kevin ran across the airport and then there was nowhere to go.
Twerps, thus foreshadowing my current propensity to curse. Also, let's talk about Marv and Harry for a second. Didn't they end up getting arrested in New York City at the end of "Home Alone 2"? How did they get to the airport in Chicago?
Kevin got a rope from his pocket and thru it up on the ceiling lamp. Then Kevin climbed up the rope and swang across. Marv and Harry couldn't catch up to him. Then Kevin jumpt off the lamp and landid right where his parents were standing. They had extra tickets. Then the extra tickets fell out of Kevin's moms purse. Marv and Harry ran for the tickets and they got them.
Obviously, the McCalister's had money (just look at that house!). But extra plane tickets? Even in 1994, that seems like a stretch. Regardless, let's give a round of applause to Kevin for going all Tarzan to evade the villains.
From here, the McCalister's travel back to New York City for Christmas. But, when they get off the airplane, Kevin accidentally gets into the wrong taxi, a fact his parents happen to miss. (Mr. and Mrs. McCalister have to go down as two of the worst parents in movie history, right?) However, Marv and Harry, manage to catch all of this. They follow Kevin back to the airport, as the child unsuspectingly gets on a plane bound for Florida. Now, we pick it up in the happiest place on earth.
Kevin got out of the airport and right next to the airport was Walt Disney World. He stopped in front of the gates and the security guard said "Give me money or a credit card." "OK," said Kevin and he gave him $900. The guard opend the gate and Kevin went inside. Marv and Harry stopt at the gates and the security guard said "Where's your money?" Marv and Harry said "Did you see a little child go in there?" "Yes" said the guard. "We are his parents." "Then go ahead in" said the guard.
Despite my exaggerated ticket prices, I am proud that, even at eight years old, I knew Walt Disney World was charging too much money. (I apparently didn't think too high of their security guards, either.) So, after running back and forth around the Magic Kingdom, Marv and Harry find Kevin on Pleasure Island, which he got there via limousine. Now, let's skip ahead to the story's exciting conclusion.
When Kevin turned around at Pleasure Island, he saw Marv and Harry. He ran back to the limo but the driver wasn't there. But the driver left the keys. Kevin pickt up the keys and started driving. He saw hundreds of hotels but there was only one he went in. But there was one problem. He didn't know where the breaks were to the limo! So he just jumped out the window. Then in the hotel he got a reservation and went to his apartment. But he got the reservation from the guard from Disney World, so the guard put him in a room where Marv and Harry were. When Kevin knokt on the door, Marv opend the door, Kevin started running. Kevin was then outside where Marv and Harry were, and right next to Kevin was a policeman. It was his friend, the guy from Home Alone 1 with the snow shovel. Kevin said to the policeman "These are the men." He arrested Marv and Harry. Then Kevin ran to the airport and got on a plane. When he got to his house, his mom and dad were there. Everybody said merry christmas. And that's the end of Home Alone 3.
So many unanswered questions as this chapter comes to an end. How did Kevin successfully maneuver the limo to the hotel? When he found out there were no brakes and jumped out, did the limo crash into anything (or anyone)? As for the security guard, did he somehow have it out for Kevin? Also, why was the guard working as both an usher at the park and a hotel concierge, and was this a clear violation of standard business practices? All queries that will have to be followed up in "Home Alone 4: Kevin Goes to Jail."
Anyway, after submitting this story, I waited patiently for Mr. Hughes' response (you can see the original letter and story in the photos below). Unfortunately, it never came. Instead, I had to learn to deal with rejection, as I soon found out that another "Home Alone 3" was going into production (sans all original cast members). I was devastated. My story wasn't even considered. So, I did what any respecting 11 year old would do at the time. I cried about it to my parents. They attempted to console me, telling me that it was going to be OK. Eventually, I got over it, and my short-lived dream of being a screenwriter died before I hit puberty. Which is why I am here, two decades years later, writing about movies for a living. And I have still never seen "Home Alone 3."
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