Die Hard and Home Alone Are The EXACT Same Movie
Every year, families gather around the Christmas tree and debate what classic movie to watch in lieu of talking to each other. By now, America has unanimously agreed that Die Hard deserves a spot among the holiday classics. It's an uplifting tale of family, selflessness, and redemption. We predict that within a decade, it will be standard for families to use festive decorations to tape guns to their backs.
You probably know that Die Hard was such a hit that it spawned a whole generation of "Lone hero thwarting terrorists in a confined space" movies, like Speed (Die Hard on a bus!), Under Siege (Die Hard on a train!), and Passenger 57 (Die Hard on a plane!). But one movie that's never lumped in with that group is a beat-for-beat remake which came out just a couple of years later and actually grossed more than all of them:
Of course, there are the broad similarities. Both films star a completely normal person who, as a result of being distanced from his family, finds himself trapped in a place invaded by criminals during Christmas, soon realizing that he's the only one who can do anything about it. He's unequipped and unable to get help from allies until it's nearly too late. In both movies, the protagonist must use his wits and improvised weaponry to take out the bad guys one at a time.
But beyond that, they're not even the same genre, right? Look at the villains. You can't compare Hans Gruber and his team of highly trained professionals to a couple of assclowns calling themselves "the Wet Bandits." Well, unless you consider the fact that in both movies, the increasingly exasperated leader of the criminals initially attempts to deceive the protagonist by passing himself off as a good guy ...
... but the protagonist is more clever and sees through his bullshit. Oh, and at one point, both villains suffer a great fall.
But as intelligent, resilient, and supernaturally lucky as the protagonist is, he doesn't do everything himself. The final blow is delivered not by him, but by another character who was a complete stranger at the beginning and is now an unlikely friend (Sgt. Al Powell and Old Man Marley, respectively).
And thus, the protagonist is reunited with his family, safe and happy once more ...
... until the same thing happens in a sequel two years later, except on the East Coast, beginning with the hero separated from his family at an airport. This time, there's more running around outdoors, so at least he gets some fresh air. And in both cases, it keeps happening a couple more times until everyone stops caring.
If you want to get even more scientific about it, the hero in both movies has his first close encounter with the bad guys at about 30 minutes in. At that mark, John McClane hides and watches Hans Gruber shoot a hostage in the head ...
... and Kevin hides as the bad guys try to break into his basement.
At about 42 minutes, the bad guys speculate about the hero. Hans Gruber tries to guess who wrote "NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN HO HO HO" on his henchman ...
... and the Wet Bandits almost run over Kevin in the driveway and try to peg which house he's from. Around an hour in, the hero reaches out for help for the first time -- to the police and Santa Claus, respectively.
And then, 15 minutes later, the battle escalates in a major way. McClane drops the bomb down the elevator shaft ...
... while Kevin shoots Daniel Stern in the fucking face and causes other gruesome injuries, in what is actually by far the more alarming sequence of the two.
If you're wondering, no, there's no evidence one way or the other as to whether the similarities are intentional. Oddly enough, a French filmmaker claimed Home Alone ripped off his 1989 thriller Pere Noel. Oh, and a Canadian filmmaker claimed Die Hard was a ripoff of his 1977 movie Kings And Desperate Men.
In the absence of any other evidence, we prefer to imagine that Home Alone started life as a rejected pitch for a Muppet Babies take on the Die Hard franchise, with Macaulay Culkin playing young Johnny McClane, a kid with a tendency to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you consider the fact that Kevin likely had to change his name and go into witness protection after pissing off so many criminals, maybe it still works out.
A version of this entry originally appeared in 6 Movies That Inadvertently Remade Other Movies.
Did you realize you can actually buy one of those "NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN HO HO HO" sweatshirts? Sorry, it's ink, not blood.
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