Home Alone 4 (also known as Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House) is a 2002 American made-for-television Christmas family comedy film directed by Rod Daniel, which first aired on ABC on November 3, 2002.
It is the fourth installment in the Home Alone series. The film brings back several of the main characters from the first two films including Kevin McCallister, but with all of the roles played by different actors and actresses. It is also the only film in the series to be filmed outside the United States. Although set in Chicago, it was actually shot in South Africa. The plot revolves around Kevin McCallister (Mike Weinberg) trying to defend his future stepmother's house from his old nemesis Marv (French Stewart) and his wife Vera (Missi Pyle). Home Alone 4 was heavily panned by critics and fans of the original films.
At the McCallisters' house in Illinois, Peter (Jason Beghe) is about to get divorced from Kate (Clare Carey) and announces that he's living with his new and rich girlfriend Natalie (Joanna Going) at her mansion. He tells his three children Buzz (Gideon Jacobs), Megan (Chelsea Russo), and Kevin (Mike Weinberg) that they are hosting the visit of a royal family and invites everyone to spend Christmas with him and Natalie. After initially refusing, Kevin takes his father up on his offer after being tormented by Buzz. Kate is disappointed that Kevin is with his father.
Kevin enjoys his time at Natalie's mansion with his new bedroom, latest gadgets and his life. In the next morning, Natalie and Peter go out for a bit while Kevin stays at the mansion with Natalie's butler Mr. Prescott (Erick Avari) and maid Molly (Barbara Babcock). While Prescott makes Kevin a milkshake, he goes into the security room and gets caught by Prescott who gives Kevin another chance. With Natalie and Peter still away, Kevin notices his old nemesis Marv (French Stewart), a remaining member of the Wet/Sticky Bandits and new sidekick and wife Vera (Missi Pyle) outside the house. Kevin tries to get Mr. Prescott to answer the intercom, but for some reason Prescott does not answer. He then spies on them and drive them away by destroying the shower's water systems and flooding the house's lobby, but Peter and Natalie arrive while Kevin is cleaning up and don't believe Kevin's explanation especially since Prescott claims to have seen nothing. While driving, Marv tells Vera about his encounters with Kevin and states that they have someone on the inside to help them in their plot. Kevin then attempts to use the security camera footage to prove himself, but discovers that the camera had been turned off by the burglars and is caught by Prescott (who Kevin now believes to be Marv and Vera's accomplice). Molly then appears and gets Kevin out of trouble. Peter and Natalie then realize they gave Kevin a hard time and decide to make him feel better, so the three of them decide to decorate the tree together.
The next morning Peter and Kevin wake up and realize their tree was redecorated by Natalie, who in the midst of all the festivity forgot to cancel her tree-decorating team. Kate, Buzz and Megan then decided to visit Kevin. Kate meets Natalie in person and Kevin shows the entire house to Buzz and Megan. At a party for the royal family while Peter and Natalie have gone to pick them up, Kevin notices Marv and Vera dressed up as caterers. Mr. Prescott warns Kevin about the night so he traps Mr. Prescott in the freezer. Kevin then spies on Marv and Vera in his bedroom and hears them planning about kidnapping the royals. The royal family are unable to attend the party because their flight was cancelled due to snow, so Peter and Natalie instead announce their engagement to their party guests. Marv and Vera run back into the house and Kevin hits Marv with a frying pan, flips the table and get soup spilled on Marv and Vera. They then chase Kevin, causing him to accidentally ruin the party. Peter is angered at this, still refusing to believe Kevin about the break-in as he believes that Kevin is trying to end his relationship with Natalie.
Since no one believes him about the problem, Kevin decides to take matters into his own hands and sets booby traps for Marv and Vera. The next morning, Peter and Natalie go get the royals and Kevin is left back at the house. Marv and Vera wake up and head to the house. Kevin tricks and locks Mr. Prescott in the wine cellar, but then he discovers Marv and Vera's real accomplice is actually Molly who also turns out to be Marv's mother as well. Molly then restrains Kevin and locks him up in the wine cellar with Mr. Prescott, where he reveals to Kevin that the reason he didn`t see Marv and Vera the first time they broke in was because he was napping. He lied to Natalie about watching the monitors to cover up his secret well-deserved breaks. After apologizing to Mr. Prescott for misjudging him, Kevin tries to call Buzz using Prescott's phone but he just hangs up on him. He then tries to call his mom but the phone's battery dies, cutting off their call and when Kate calls the house she is told by a lying Molly that Kevin is with Peter. When Kate calls Peter about Kevin, he denies this causing both Kate and Peter to become suspicious.
With help from Prescott, Kevin manages to escape through the dumbwaiter. He then unleashes his traps on Marv and Vera. Molly hears the commotion and tries to stop Kevin, resulting in Kevin trapping her in the elevator. At the airport, Peter's suspicions gets him worried about Kevin as he goes back to Natalie's mansion to check on him. Back in the cellar, Mr. Prescott then manages to escape through the dumbwaiter as well, wanting to see if Kevin is all right. Kate, Buzz and Megan are on their way to save Kevin as well. Marv heads to the bedroom and ends up getting caught and stuck under the bookshelf. Kevin then plays a recording of Marv, making it sound like he's insulting Vera, which causes them to argue. Marv and Vera are then tricked by Kevin with a secret wall switch, end up swinging from a chandelier, and then fall and are knocked unconscious. Molly escapes from the elevator but Mr. Prescott knocks her out with a serving tray. Then, he and Kevin call the police just as Peter, Kate, Buzz and Megan arrive.
The royal family and Natalie arrive at the house and Natalie is confused when she sees Molly getting arrested alongside Marv and Vera. Peter breaks up with Natalie, Mr. Prescott resigns, and the royal family decides to spend Christmas with the McCallisters.
(In credits order)
- Mike Weinberg as Kevin McCallister: The main character. He defends the house from Marv and Vera. He was originally portrayed by Macaulay Culkin in the first two films.
- French Stewart as Marv, Vera's husband, Molly's son, and Harry's former sidekick. He was originally portrayed by Daniel Stern in the first two films. Stern, calling this film "an insult, total garbage," refused to reprise his role.
- Missi Pyle as Vera, Marv's wife who Marv first met in prison.
- Erick Avari as Mr. Prescott, the butler.
- Barbara Babcock as Molly, the maid who is the inside person and Marv's mother.
- Jason Beghe as Peter McCallister, Kevin, Buzz and Megan's father. He was originally portrayed by John Heard in the first two films.
- Clare Carey as Kate McCallister, Kevin, Buzz and Megan's mother. She was originally portrayed by Catherine O'Hara in the first two films.
- Joanna Going as Natalie, Peter's girlfriend and Buzz, Megan, and Kevin's future stepmother.
- Gideon Jacobs as Buzz McCallister, Kevin and Megan's brother. He was originally portrayed by Devin Ratray in the first two films.
- Chelsea Russo as Megan McCallister, Kevin and Buzz's sister. She was originally portrayed by Hillary Wolf in the first two films.
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