It's incredible to think that after 25 years, people are still finding different ways of looking at Home Alone. To be fair, not all fan theories are created equal but it's still astonishing that this Christmas classic continues to capture the (wild) imaginations of viewers to this day.
1. John Candy's character is actually the Devil.
For all intents and purposes, Gus Polinski (John Candy) seems like a really nice guy. He offers Kate McCallister a ride to Chicago, looking for seemingly nothing in return. But perhaps he was getting a way better bargain than anyone realized.
A theory from reddit user drewgarr points to a few clues that Gus Polinski may be far more nefarious than previously expected. First off, drewgarr points out that the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport is literally set up like a crossroads, a typical site for Faustian bargains.
But the most damning evidence of all is that Kate's last line of dialog before Gus approaches her to offer help is a loud claim that she will do anything "if it costs her everything she owns. Even if she has to sell her soul to the devil" to get home. And just like that, Gus is there to give her everything she's looking for.
2. Elvis Presley is alive and has a cameo in the movie
It's not clear how this rumor got started but it is a persistent one. Once again, we're heading back to the Scranton airport for the root of this theory. Behind Kate, there's an extra in a suit jacket who believers swear looks like a bearded Elvis Presley. Adding to the "evidence" of this matter is the fact that the two exhibit similar ticks in their head movement. There's not a lot of evidence to go by, considering he's on the screen for just a few moments but, no doubt, anything I say will discourage true believers.
Gif source - YouTube
3. Uncle Frank was the mastermind behind the whole plot.
Home Alone is full of despicable members of the McCallister family but, aside from maybe Buzz, there's no one more detestable than Uncle Frank. He's a greedy sociopath who has no problem yelling at children for nearly no reason. But what if he's much, much worse than that?
A theory popularized by Crave suggests that everything that goes wrong in Home Alone is because of Frank. And why? Because he's jealous of his brother's wealth. What if Frank hired Harry and Marv to rob the McCallister house while they were on vacation? Even worse, what if he orchestrated a whole plan for Kevin to be left behind and ultimately be murdered by the Wet Bandits.
The theory goes into way more detail than we could possibly cover so you can read the whole thing here.
4. Peter McCallister is a mob boss.
We know from the novelization of the movie that Peter is vaguely referenced as a "businessman" but they never use the word "legitimate." As covered in depth by Complex, this could account for the family's opulent wealth and Peter's standoffishness when Harry shows up on his doorstep dressed as a policeman. With all the family chaos, Home Alone is basically Goodfellas with a PG rating.
5. Old Man Marley is actually Kevin from the future.
Are none of these theories wild enough for you? How about we add time travel into the mix? In a post on reddit, user spookycookies suggests that Old Man Marley is actually a version of Kevin from the future, except in his timeline, Kevin never overcame the Wet Bandits. Instead, the McCallisters returned home to a ransacked house, which left them ruined and ultimately led to the family falling apart.
Blaming himself, Kevin brought a lifetime of guilt into his own marriage, which eventually led to his separation from his son and granddaughter. Based on how old "Marley" is, it's possible that he is from a timeline where time travel was possible, allowing him to go back to 1990, and involve himself in this pivotal night in his younger self's night in order to create a happier future.
6. Kevin grew up to be Jigsaw from the Saw movies.
Reddit user Jordoom has come up with possibly the most bizarre Home Alone theory ever concocted, suggesting that the Home Alone and Saw franchises are connected by their main character.
The first piece of evidence is in each characters' M.O. As a child, Kevin McCallister found himself trapped in a house, where he created intricate traps in order to protect himself from the Wet Bandits. In Home Alone 2, Kevin returns to the same method, only this time taking even more relish in his Rube Goldberg-esque machines of doom. It's important to remember just how violent these traps were and that it's only by sheer luck (and cartoon logic) that the Wet Bandits weren't killed on multiple occasions.
Sound like anybody you know?
The theory goes on to point to the ease with which young Kevin manipulates the people around him. His calloused charisma sounds an awful lot like John Kramer, aka Jigsaw.
The theory also suggests that Jigsaw's obsession with "playing a game" points to some kind of arrested development, probably brought on by traumatic events during childhood, say being abandoned by your parents (twice) and facing off with armed robbers, for instance?
So how did the transformation happen? The theory points towards a logical progression from Kevin to Jigsaw. Kevin upped the ante with more extreme traps in Home Alone 2, when he saw that going easy on the Wet Bandits didn't work the first time. Taking that a step further, Kevin would be willing to go to even more extreme lengths to teach people a lesson.