Home Alone is not just a classic of holiday season cinema, it is one of the best family franchises ever, well… if you ignore some installments, but that’s not relevant here. John Hughes’ screenplays focusing on Kevin have become a Christmas tradition.
In this article, we are going to bring you all the Home Alone movies in the proper chronological order. Alongside the chronological order and release order of Home Alone movies, we are going to bring you some additional info on the movies and the whole franchise, mainly through answering some burning questions, but also through the production info about the movies you’re going to receive. But, first things first, how many Home Alone movies are there?
How many Home Alone movies are there?
There are six Home Alone movies in total. The first two and the fourth movie are part of a single narrative unit focusing on the character of Kevin, while the other three are standalone stories, although Disney’s Home Sweet Home Alone seems to be connected to the original trilogy in some way.
Home Alone movies in order – at a glance
As of November 2021, there are currently six Home Alone movies. Three of these Home Alone movies are part of the same narrative continuity featuring the same characters, while two are standalone iterations of the story. Disney’s Home Sweet Home Alone is sort of connected to the original story as we’ve already mentioned. The movies are as follows:
- Home Alone (1990)
- Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
- Home Alone 3 (1997)
- Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
- Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
- Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)
Now that you’ve seen the released order of Home Alone movies it’s time to check out the ideal watch order of Home Alone movies taking into account the timeline and characters.
What is the best way to watch Home Alone movies?
The best way to watch Home Alone movies is in chronological order. The order doesn’t coincide with the actual release order, instead we decided to sort the movies taking into account the storyline. Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) and Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) are somewhat connected. The other two movies, Home Alone 3 (1997) and Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012) are just built on the same premise and don’t have any connection to the original stories whatsoever.
Home Alone movies in order – chronologically
1. Home Alone (1990)
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer(s): John Hughes
Release Date: November 16, 1990
Running Time: 103 minutes
We start of our Home Alone watch order with Home Alone (1990). The McCallister family flies to Paris for the holidays. On board, Kate McCallister realizes that she and the whole family have left their youngest child, Kevin, 8, at home.
Mainly tormented by his siblings, he is puny, carefree, and frightened (especially by his neighbor, the mysterious Father Marley, as well as by the cellar boiler whose roar and the grate that opens and closes by themselves are very scary), but also intelligent and resourceful.
While his family tries to help him from Paris and his mother tries to return to him, Kevin is very happy to have gotten rid of his family, whom he has difficulty supporting and who sometimes puts him aside. because of his position as the youngest.
He then tastes a quiet life, doing the shopping himself and believing himself to be definitely alone; but he does not know that two burglars planned to empty the house on Christmas Eve.
2. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer(s): John Hughes
Release Date: November 20, 1992
Running Time: 120 minutes
Secon entry in the series connected to the original story is Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). The McCallister family are getting ready to spend their Christmas vacation in Miami, Florida. Kate and Peter McCallister are careful not to forget their son Kevin, as they had done the year before. However, at the airport, Kevin takes the wrong plane and accidentally sets off for New York, following another individual who was wearing the same colors of clothes as his father.
However, thanks to his father’s credit card, he visited the city and stayed at the luxurious Palace Plaza Hotel, located opposite Central Park. But the two burglars, captured in the previous episode, Harry and Marvin, escape prison and stumble upon the young boy a second time.
Grudgeful, Harry and Marvin pursue young Kevin again. The latter then undertakes, alone in New York, to defeat the plans of the float breakers, renamed “the sticky breakers”, which is to rob a toy store.
3. Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)
Director: Rod Daniel
Writer(s): Debra Frank, Steve L. Hayes
Release Date: November 3, 2002
Running Time: 89 minutes
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) returns with characters connected to the original storyline. Kevin McCallister’s parents are divorced. Kevin, who lives with his mother, decides to spend the holidays with his father because he doesn’t want to spend them with his brother Buzz who makes fun of him.
The home of Natalie, Kevin’s father’s new partner, is a luxurious mansion in which the child initially has a lot of fun until bandits Marv Merchants and his wife Vera break in to rob the luxurious home. Kevin then stops them by flooding the house.
As he tries to call the butler, Mr. Prescott, the thieves run away and Peter McCallister returns home with his future wife, thinking it’s all his son’s doing and that he actually made up the whole bandits part.
4. Home Sweet Home Alone (2021)
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer(s): Mikey Day, Streeter Seidell
Release Date: November 12, 2021
Running Time: 93 minutes
Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) is the last entry into the series and the last movie to be connected to the original story loosely. The ten-year-old Max Mercer is accidentally left at home by his parents for the holidays when his family leaves for a vacation to Tokyo and has to take separate flights due to an error in the booking process.
Initially, Max enjoys getting to do whatever he wants now that he’s alone but soon must defend his house from burglars Pam and Jeff Fritzovski, a couple looking to steal a priceless heirloom from his family.
5. Home Alone 3 (1997)
Director: Raja Gosnell
Writer(s): John Hughes
Release Date: December 12, 1997
Running Time: 102 minutes
Petr Beaupre, Alice Ribbons, Burton Jernigan, and Earl Unger, four internationally wanted arms traffickers, take delivery near San Francisco International Airport of a microprocessor for military use on behalf of a North Korean terrorist group, and hide it in a remote-controlled car.
But at the airport, as they prepare to fly to Hong Kong, an old lady mistakenly picks up their bag at control. When she gets home, discovering the toy, she gives it to her little neighbor, Alex Pruitt, to reward him for cleaning his driveway. The criminals start looking for the remote-controlled car and the famous microprocessor inside.
To do this, they search all the houses on the avenue. Sick and at home, Alex saw the burglars twice and called the police. But the police arrived too late and the burglars had time to leave.
6. Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012)
Director: Peter Hewitt
Writer(s): Aaron Ginsburg, Wade McIntyre
Release Date: November 25, 2012
Running Time: 87 minutes
The Baxter family moves from California to Maine to spend the Christmas season. Finn Baxter and his older sister Alexis are two technophiles who isolate themselves from their parents Curtis and Catherine by spending their days playing “Robo Infantry 3” and using their cell phones respectively.
Encouraged by his father to socialize, Finn befriends his neighbor Mason, who informs him about the legend of a gangster whose ghost haunts the Baxter’s new home, causing Finn to become paranoid.
Where to watch Home Alone movies?
You can watch Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Home Alone 3 (1997), Home Alone: Holiday Heist (2012), and Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) on Amazon Prime. The last movie in the order of release Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) can be watched on Disney+.
Do you need to watch Home Alone movies in order?
The only two movies that actually require you to watch them in order are Home Alone and Home Alone 2, while the others function as standalone stories and don’t need to be watched in a particular order. Kevin does appear in Home Alone 4 and Home Sweet Home Alone is a continuation of this series, but they are standalone stories.
Are Home Alone movies connected?
4 movies in Home Alone series are connected and the other 2 are not. Home Alone (1990), Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002) and Home Sweet Home Alone (2021) are somewhat connected either by characters of Kevin McAllister himself. Home Alone 3 (1997) and Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012) are not connected to the first two movies in any way.
Will there be more Home Alone movies?
Will there be more Home Alone movies depended on the success of Home Sweet Home Alone, but we think that the franchise is not going to end here. The franchise has survived all of these years despite some very questionable installments, which is why we think that we will see more Home Alone movies in the future.