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Which Traps Would Have Killed Harry And Marv In Home Alone?

Victoria Newell

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Harry and Marv Home Alone image
20th Century Fox

Picture this. It’s Christmas time. Snow falls softly outside and the fireplace roars. There’s a mug of warm hot chocolate in your hand and a comfy blanket draped over your shoulders. Your favourite person is snuggled up against you, and you breathe in the Christmas cheer. You turn on your favourite Christmas movie, Home Alone, and watch the violence unfold against Harry and Marv.

Hold on a minute? Did you say violence? But Home Alone is a cheery Christmas comedy!

What many don’t take into account is the number of pranks pulled against the Wet Bandits that could actually kill them. The bandits always pop right back up with slap-stick comedy that resembles Jerry crushing Tom with a piano. But which of those booby traps would actually land our bandits into the morgue this Christmas? Here are our picks for festive booby traps most likely to kill a man, ranked from “it might land you in the hospital,” to “get ready to meet Scrooge’s ghosts”.

1. Falling down the stairs

The Wet Bandits, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) both fall down the stairs several times. A good portion of the booby traps in the McCallister home revolved around stairs.

Now falling down the stairs once gives you a 1 in 1,884 chance of dying. (That’s higher than dying in a plane crash). 1,000 people die every year from falling down the stairs. Now it’s important to note that most fatal falls are due in part that the victim was elderly.

Given the sheer amount that the bandits fell down the stairs though, I’d say their chances of at least being seriously injured are fairly high. In one case, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) put ice on the concrete stairs outside. Both Marv and Harry fell down these slippery slopes, but Harry fell directly on his neck on a concrete step. That had to have done some damage.

2. Crowbar to the chest

When Kevin puts a tarantula on Marv’s face, he frantically throws it off and on the unconscious chest of Harry. In an attempt to annihilate the spider, Marv hits Harry’s chest with a crowbar.

New York City Internist Dr Diego Ponieman told Thrillist that “a hit like that could cause cracked ribs, a punctured lung, or even internal bleeding”. Considering how banged up the two are at this point, even just adding a wound like that could land the Bandits six feet underground. It’s safe to assume that Harry isn’t getting up after that hit.

3. Iron to the head

Marv was the unfortunate recipient of this prank. Kevin fixed an iron to a string light in the basement. When Marv pulled on the string to turn on the light, the iron fell from about thirty feet and nailed him in the head. He has a mark shaped like an iron on his face for the rest of the night.

This type of injury could, in fact, murder someone. It’s highly likely that Marv at least suffered a concussion, which is considered a traumatic brain injury.

It would likely cause some sort of long-term issue, and he would need to go to a doctor. Based on this type of injury, he could also have an intracranial hematoma or a blood clot in the brain. That is life-threatening. These blood clots are sometimes linked to a skull fracture, but based on his wounds (which doesn’t give us much to go on because these guys are super-human), he likely doesn’t have.

I also don’t think that it’s a far off assumption to make that his brain might be bruised. If the poor guy wasn’t stupid enough, he’s really going to be struggling now.

4. Shovel to the head

Ladies and gents, we have another head injury.

At the end of the film, Kevin’s neighbour whacks them hard in the head with a shovel, knocking them both out. This marks the second-third time that the Wet Bandits have been hit in the head. If they survived the first few times, they more than likely have concussions. Getting hit by a shovel could absolutely cause another one.

If you get two concussions in a row, it could cause “second impact syndrome.” That would create brain swelling, and could possibly be fatal. If that didn’t kill them, getting several concussions could lead to depression/suicide and Alzheimer’s. This attempt to rob the McCallisters could haunt them in the long term.

5. A fall from a great height

In an attempt to escape the Wet Bandits, Kevin ziplined from the third story of his house to his treehouse. The bandits tried to follow him, inching along the rope, when Kevin pulled out some gardening shears. Cutting the rope, Harry and Marv swing about 30ish feet to the ground and slam into a brick wall. It’s pretty vague what type of damage it would cause, but it would absolutely cause damage.

In a CBS News article about a girl who fell 25 feet at Six Flags, emergency physician Dr. Robert Glatter of Lenox Hill Hospital said that even a fall from a few feet could kill a person.

It creates problems such as a ruptured spleen or spine. Considering the force in which the Wet Bandits hit the wall, it’s unlikely that they would get up and walk away.

6. Hot hand

Harry was really feeling the heat in this movie.

One of the first pranks Kevin unleashed on the Bandits was heating the handle up to his front door. Harry grabbed on to it with gusto, burning his hand so badly that an M for McCallister was still branded in his hand in the second movie.

The Week asked Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College a couple of questions about these Home Alone pranks. He said that for the doorknob to be glowing red, it had to be about 751 degrees. A surface that hot should have caused Harry’s hand to burst into flames. This could have set Harry on fire, causing him to burn alive. At the very least, this injury would cause Harry to amputate his hand.

He definitely would not have been able to continue using that appendage. Sorry Harry, forget about continuing on with this robbery.

7. Paint bucket to the head

This one got both of them good. As they were going up the stairs, Home alone hero Kevin dropped paint buckets on Harry and Marv like a pendulum, knocking them both clean in the face. This one is very similar to the “iron to the head” prank and would result in pretty much the same injuries.

EMT Joseph O’Hare was interviewed by Motherboard about this very issue- “what Home Alone pranks are lethal?” He said that if someone was actually hit by a paint bucket in the same way the bandits were, their faces would be completely destroyed. The hit would knock their teeth in, possibly causing them to choke. The force could also shatter their skull, resulting in a stroke.

So yeah, the wrong shade of paint can be pretty deadly.

8. Flamethrower to the head

Harry really got the short end of the stick with this one. Kevin had a flamethrower, yes a flamethrower, attached to his back door. If you opened the door, you’d feel the heat. When Harry opened the door, the top of his head got severely burned. He had the sense to put his head out in the snow, saving him from further damage.

Now, this prank would have absolutely killed Harry if he was two inches taller. If it had been Marv opening this door, he would be dead as a doornail, as he’s a lot taller. It probably would have nailed his face or neck.

The burns caused by this flamethrower would be third degree, and would create black charring and insane scarring. This could lead to death in several ways. A burn to the face like that could block air passages, causing someone to suffocate. The resulting trauma from that kind of burn could also cause someone to go into shock. Realistically, it would have made Harry go into shock. He wouldn’t have put his head out, and he probably would have burned to death.

Dr St. Clair also weighed in on how this specific prank would have played out. He said that Harry was under fire for several seconds, meaning that his skull might actually start to rot. At the very least he would need to have his skin and part of his skull removed and replaced. Doesn’t sound very fun, does it?

Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal

All things considered, it’s a miracle that Home Alone isn’t considered a horror movie with the damage done to poor Harry and Marv. If the booby traps laid out in Home Alone were real, Kevin would be a murderer several times over. His parents would come home to find their juvenile son in jail, or maybe even standing over corpses.

Thankfully, the Wet Bandits in Home Alone are as tough as cartoons. Whatever you throw at them, they will pop right back up to try to ruin your Christmas cheer. Just don’t try these traps out when you’re ‘home alone’.


And that’s our list of traps that would have killed Harry and Marv in Home Alone. What do you think? Did we miss any? Have we ruined your Christmas and enjoyment of the film? Let us know in the comments below.


Check our Christmas movie advent calendar article HERE.

Read IMDB information about Home Alone HERE.

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The Good, The Bad And The Classic

Sarah Casserley

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Star From Disney Plus

Disney Plus Star image
Disney Plus

Disney Plus introduced Star to the service a little while ago now with loads of highlights. We’re sure, like us, you’ve had a good old delve into the catalogue and watched some of your faves. But, just in case you’ve missed anything, we have put together a little guide on what’s good to get stuck into. Also what’s bad and could do with being swiped past, and the classic must-see TV series and films that you probably didn’t even realise were there.

So, when you find yourself looking for something to watch on a Friday evening or binge for a couple of weeks, don’t scroll endlessly, just take a look at our guide of Disney Plus Star recommendations.


The Good

These are the films and series that have been released within the last 10 years, which you need to watch or should at least be on your ‘to watch’ list.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Atlanta (2016 – Present)

If you haven’t watched this series yet, why not? The creative and talented Donald Glover heads up the show as the main character ‘Earn’, and on the writing credits too (among 6 others, including his brother Stephen Glover), in this funny, gritty and realistic series which follows a rapper ‘Paper Boy’ and his manager Earn (Glover) as they navigate the rap business. If you have watched the show before, you may want to re-watch for a recap as season 3 has been promised to us very soon.

9-1-1 (2018 – Present)

This isn’t just any emergency service drama, this series covers the lives of several Los Angeles first responders: police officers, paramedics, firefighters, and dispatchers. It also has some big names involved, including Angela Bassett and, later in the series, Jennifer Love Hewitt. For some reason though, there’s only two of the four seasons of 9-1-1 on Disney Plus Star so far, but it’s well worth a watch and we’re sure the other two seasons should be along soon.

Doll Face (2019 – Present)

By the title alone, and the fact that it’s a weekly release, it initially looked like this series was set around a stereotypical break up and was destined for the bad list. However, the witty script, amazing female actors and relatable storyline made me put this series firmly within the good pile as I can’t wait to watch more. Kat Dennings takes the lead in the series and really brings to life upcoming writer Jordan Weiss’ story of female friendships after a breakup.

Films on Disney Plus Star

The Fault in Our Stars (2014)

This beautiful coming of age story, based on a book with the same name, is a great watch for all ages, not just teens. Be ready for oodles of romance, as well as teary and heart-warming moments, as you follow two teens affected by cancer as they set off on a journey of discovery.

The Favourite (2018)

We love a period drama, and this quirky look at the reign of Queen Anne is no exception. With starring roles from Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult, it’s no wonder The Favourite had 336 nominations in award season and 182 wins. It’s definitely one of the best films from the last 5 years on Disney Plus Star.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

There are some examples coming up in these lists that give sequels a bad name, however, Deadpool 2 isn’t one of them. If you were putting off watching this one because of the sequel curse, don’t, it’s just as good – if not better – than the first. Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) is back as the foul-mouthed superhero and, this time, he brings some new friends: Domino (Zazie Beetz), Fire Fist (Julian Dennison) and Weasel (T.J. Miller) among others.


The Bad

There’s not as many on this ‘bad’ list as Star has done a pretty good job with their chosen titles. However, like any service, there are always a few bad eggs in our opinion… This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t watch these, it’s more of a warning that there may be better things to press play on.

Series on Disney Plus Star

Lost (2004 – 2010)

To be completely honest here, the first two seasons of Lost are very entertaining and interesting to watch, as you follow several people who try to survive a plane crash and have to adapt to life on a strange island. But, by the middle of season three, things start to get a little confusing and we found ourselves getting lost (pun intended) in the plot until the final sixth season, only to be hit with a heavily reported disappointing end… even worse than some people’s feelings about Game Of Thrones. So, we recommendation delving into some of the other series rather than this one.

24: Legacy (2017)

Trying to build another series from an established series can be very hit or miss – and this one was a huge miss. So much so that Fox axed it just after one series.

It takes on the same format as the original 24 series, where one season is just one day, however, this time they are trying to stop a terrorist attack. The format just doesn’t work with this storyline and you lose a lot of momentum and excitement, plus the acting just isn’t the best.

Films on Disney Plus Star

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)

Just like building another series off a series, sequels can also be tricky beasts… some are good, some are bad and, when it follows an absolute classic like ‘Independence Day’, it needs to be amazing. Unfortunately, this one didn’t quite live up to the legacy of the first film; I mean, not even ‘Hunger Games’ Liam Hemsworth couldn’t get this to match up with the original. But it is still entertaining, so if you do decide to watch this one, just do so with caution.


The Classic

As you have probably already noticed there are some absolute classics on Disney Plus Star, so this is going to be the longest list, full of series that you can binge from start to finish and films that stand the test of time and can be re-watched repeatedly. Most of these titles don’t need much explanation as you’ll have already watched or heard about them, but you might not have spotted them yet on Disney Plus Star as some were buried deep in the archives.

Series on Disney Plus Star

X Files (1993 – 2001)

If you were born in the 90s or 00s, this one may have gone under your radar; however, once you watch the first season full of aliens, wired going ons and the brilliantly disjointed relationship of FBI agents, conspiracy theorist Fox Mulder and realist Dana Scully, you won’t want to stop watching. Granted some of the special effects are a little dated and unbelievable, but you will soon forget about that as you get sucked into the narrative.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2002)

I know, I know, it’s hard to think there are people out there that haven’t watched a single vampire slaying, kick-ass, sci-fi loaded episode… but there is. If you are one of those people, what are you waiting for? Every single episode is here wating for you to binge. If you don’t fancy delving into the full thing, I would recommend at least taking a peek at the seventh episode of the sixth series (Once More, with Feeling: Buffy the Musical).

24 (2001 – 2014)

Before Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) burst on our screens in 2001, this kind of format for a series had never been attempted before and it just worked, so much so it ran for 9 seasons. It may seem odd at first, as each series is just one day, but you really do get sucked in.

Grey’s Anatomy (2005 – 2018)

Within its almost 13 years of being on air, this series has offered every heart-warming and breath-holding moment you need from a hospital-based drama. This would be a perfect series to start if you want something that will last you a while.

Sons of Anarchy (2008 – 2014)

Bikes, leather and action: what’s not to like? This series ran for a glorious 7 seasons, and within these episodes, there is storyline upon storyline that will keep you hooked and wanting to know more about the motorcycle club that straddles the line between legal and illegal.

Films on Disney Plus Star

(We’re pretty sure you will have watched most of these films, but they are well worth a re-watch)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

The film that started them all. Since the release of this film in 1968, there have been seven more sequels and remakes of the original sci-fi movie, two of which you can also watch on Disney Plus Star: Planet Of the Apes (2001) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

Jewel of the Nile (1985)

It could possibly be that the countless TV showings over the have passed you by, but if you’ve not seen Jewel of the Nile, you should definitely give it a go. Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito are fantastic in this pure 80s romantic action comedy.

Cocktail (1988)

Sticking within the 80s romantic comedy realm, you’ve also got Cocktail, which is full of love ultimatums, with a dash of cheese. Come on, you know you want to watch a young Tom Cruise at work.

The Fly (1986)

One name – Jeff Goldblum. Watch it.

Pretty Woman (1990)

We were just as excited as the first time we watched it when we saw this classic on the service. To not watch this again would be a big mistake. HUGE.

Toys (1992)

This wonderfully wacky story by Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson comes alive with the help of one of the best comedic actors of all time, Robin Williams, alongside the wonderful Joan Cusack and, bizarrely, LL Cool J.

What’s Love Got To Do With It (1993)

Whether you love Tina Turner’s music or not, it does not matter. This is one of the most interesting and inspirational biographical movies that you will ever watch. Word of warning, the incredible Angela Bassett and Lawrence Fishburne are so great at their roles that some of the more sensitive scenes are very realistic.

Braveheart (1995)

With any new service, there are glitches, and we found one! Whilst watching this absolute classic a few weeks ago, about two and a half hours into the film the screen when to the small screen format as if the credits had come up, making it difficult to watch the last part of the film. However, when we went to finish the film off a week later the glitch had been fixed and you can now watch the whole film without interruption… FREEDOM!

William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (1996)

We all know that when it comes to film, Baz Luhrmann is a genius and he doesn’t disappoint with this abstract take on the story. It’s worth watching for the soundtrack alone.

Independence Day (1996)

90s Will Smith doing what he did best: lots of running, fighting and shouting – need I say more? Oh yes, you can also watch another one of his masterpieces, Enemy of the State (1998) on this service too.

Con Air (1997)

‘Put the bunny back in the box’ and sit down and watch this classic… we all know Nicholas Cage films can be a little unpredictable, but this film is definitely a hit, especially as he is joined by other legends of the screen, including John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, John Cusack and Ving Rhames.

The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Well if it’s at our fingertips, why not watch this film for the 56th time… this year.


So, there you have it, these are some of our highlights and must-miss titles from Disney Plus Star. Are there any that we missed? If so, comment below and let us know what category they belong in.


Check out the top 10 hidden gems in the other Disney Plus feeds HERE.

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