Courtesy Disney+

20th Century Studios’ HOME SWEET HOME ALONE is an all-new adventure comedy from the beloved holiday film franchise. Max Mercer is a mischievous and resourceful young boy who has been left behind while his family is in Japan for the holidays. So when a married couple attempting to retrieve a priceless heirloom set their sights on the Mercer family’s home, it is up to Max to protect it from the trespassers…and he will do whatever it takes to keep them out. Hilarious hijinks of epic proportions ensue, but despite the absolute chaos, Max comes to realize that there really is no place like home sweet home.

Nightmarish Conjurings recently attended the global press junket for the recently released HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, the latest installment in the now-classic holiday film franchise. While attending the junket, we learned about what elements from the original Home Alone film were incorporated into this latest installment, the stuntwork that was done by Rob Delaney and Ellie Kemper. and more! Attending the virtual press junket was Archie Yates (Max), Aisling Bea (Carol), Ellie Kemper (Pam), Rob Delaney (Jeff), and Ally Maki (Mei), with Amanda Salas as the moderator.

If you’ve had the pleasure of having already watched HOME SWEET HOME ALONE, you will know that Rob Delaney’s Jeff and Ellie Kemper’s Pam go through hell to try to steal back a priceless heirloom they think that Max has taken from them. There are falling icicles of death. Cue balls to the face! Falling downstairs, into a frozen pool, crashing into playhouses. Literally, the sky was the limit when it came down to all of the physical moments for both their characters in the film. So, it came as no surprise when Amanda Taylor from Guide For Geek Moms asked about the physical demands placed on the two performers to properly execute these painful-to-watch moments in the film. Rob Delaney spelled it out for attendees what all was involved for the duo: 

“[The physical demands] were comprehensive. We started stunt training well before we started shooting. We were required to do most of the stunts in the film. Yes, professional stunt people did them as well and if we did a bad job, they edited them in, but they really put us through the paces, which frankly, was shocking to me because I thought that I would just have to dip in for a humorous rejoinder now and then. But they’re like, “No, we’re going to require you to be in the entire film and doing the stunts,” which was scary, educational, and really very fun.”

Ellie Kemper added that the experience itself turned out to be a lot of fun for her. Having not done anything like this before, she welcomed the challenge and found the experience itself to be both funny and athletic in a way that she hadn’t expected. Given some of the stunts the duo had to do onscreen (many of which I personally flinched at because the character Max could have actually killed these two if this wasn’t an actual holiday movie situation), the hard work most certainly paid off.

Ellie Kemper as Pam and Rob Delaney as Jeff in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE l 20th Century Studios

While the bulk of the cast didn’t get to experience too much of the crazy stunt shenanigans the duo had to act out onscreen, there were moments where the cast had to witness the aftermath in scenes later on. Knowing how hard it was not to react just watching the film, one couldn’t imagine how it would be possible not to break watching the two act out the pain. So, when Amanda Sales followed up by asking the cast how they were able to keep a straight face while watching Delaney and Kemper act out these stunts, there was a general consensus of how hard it was. Especially, once makeup FX got involved.

Ally Maki mentioned the difficulties of keeping a straight face, especially during the scenes when Rob Delaney has a massive lump on his forehead. When I tell you that it is difficult to draw your eye away from that bump, I’m not lying. Aisling Bea followed up by saying that the lump on his forehead was disgusting, with Maki sharing further:

It was so gross, looked like a giant pimple. And then in between [takes], he would come over and be like, “Hey, how’s it going?” I’m like, “I can’t take you seriously right now.”‘

One of the surprising takeaways from the junket was how Delaney and Kemper had to do the bulk of the stunts themselves, which made me further appreciate all that they did onscreen. While the film itself isn’t perfect by any means, no one can deny that all of the physical moments in HOME SWEET HOME ALONE stand out in many good ways. You’ll cringe. You’ll flinch. All your muscles will tense. And, ultimately, you’ll feel incredibly bad for these adults making poor life decisions as they break and enter into a stranger’s home.

If ye are brave of heart and courage, HOME SWEET HOME ALONE is now available on Disney+.

Sarah Musnicky
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