Movies similar to Home Alone, from Skyfall to Better Watch Out

Feel like watching Home Alone but with some real, grown-up action? (MGM/Disney/Sony)

Christmas is coming, which means it’s almost time for the most important holiday tradition of all: blowing the dust off the Home Alone 1 & 2 DVD box set (or simply checking the listings to find out when those perfect movies will inevitably be in television) .

But if you’re a little bored with Kevin’s misadventures, or fancy something with a little more punch, here’s how to watch Home alone, without actually looking Home alone.

Read more: Looking back on Home Alone 2 at 30 years old

Screenwriter John Hughes has acknowledged that the film was inspired by Sam Peckinpah’s brutal home invasion thriller Straw Dogs, released in 1971, so if you really wanted to go back to the source, we highly recommend doing so as a good place to start.

If not, here are seven movies that sound like Home Alone to older audiences.

Better Be Careful (2017)

Better Watch Out sees children being terrorized by a home invader.  (Universal)

Better Watch Out sees children being terrorized by a home invader. (Universal)

Christmas, check. Home intrusion, check. Enterprising leads that are in over their heads, check. Guy who was left home alone (well, with a babysitter) who has an astonishing capacity for violence, check back.

Read more: The best Christmas movies of the 21st century

We won’t say any more, as there are many surprises we could potentially anticipate, but there is a very good reason why Better Watch Out has been described by most critics as Home Alone meets fun games. It’s because it is exactly that.

Skyfall (2012)

Daniel Craig's James Bond holed up in his childhood home in Skyfall.  (MGM)

Daniel Craig’s James Bond holed up in his childhood home in Skyfall. (MGM)

The third act of Skyfall is 100% Home Alone, to the extent that we thought the big reveal of the film would be that James Bond is a codename and 007’s true identity is Kevin McCallister.

In reality, Bond 23 is probably closer to Home Alone 2, as it takes place in an abandoned building, but you get the point. Both involve our hero fending off bad guys with a bunch of homemade traps in their childhood barrage, including rigged floorboards and exploding light bulbs that shoot nails at their victims.

It’s all a bit lo-fi for Bond, but whatever. Didn’t he have hi-tech gadgets? We’re pretty sure he had some hi-tech gadgets.

Don’t Breathe (2016)

Stephen Lang in the 2016 horror film 'Don't Breathe'.  (Credit: Sony)

Stephen Lang in the 2016 horror film ‘Don’t Breathe’. (Sony)

Remember the scary old dude in the first Home Alone, the one who turns out to be really sweet, because he only misses his family?

Now, imagine if that dude really was a terrifying creep, and Harry and Marv went to his house instead of Kevin’s and you’re halfway to imagining Don’t Breathe.

Read more: Which streaming service has the best Christmas movies?

There’s obviously more to it (including the brilliant premise that this movie’s home invaders are fending off a blind man with pretty intense military skills and an evil dog), but if you missed this thriller gem in theaters last year , stick it to your Christmas list.

Inside (2007)

Beatrice Dalle is the protagonist of Inside in 2007. (Alamy)

Beatrice Dalle is the protagonist of Inside in 2007. (Alamy)

When a pregnant woman decides to spend Christmas Eve alone at home, she doesn’t expect a thief to enter the house, intent on stealing her most precious possession. That’s all we’re going to say about Inside, because, as with Better Watch Out, the less you know the better.

But we’ll warn you that Inside is insanely tense and ridiculously violent, so maybe don’t press the kids. But, despite being a brutal horror film, it could be considered an unofficial prequel to Home Alone, especially if you imagine Kevin as the unborn child absorbing the knowledge of how to deal with someone who has broken into your house.

The Collector (2009)

Prod DB © Liddell Entertainment - Fortress Features / DR THE COLLECTOR de Marcus Dunstan 2009 USA avec Josh Stewart horreur, ambiance

Josh Stewart in The Collector. (Liddell Entertainment/Fortress Features/Alamy)

Originally intended as a prequel to Saw (come to think of it, is Home Alone a prequel to Saw? We could totally see Kevin becoming addicted to the adrenaline rush of setting traps and growing up to be Jigsaw, but we digress), the hero of The Collector is a thief, and the bad guy is a guy who sets up a bunch of traps (all made out of household items, like fish hooks hanging from the ceiling and a room full of bear traps) so he can kidnap him in a box .

Yes, it’s basically as twisted as it sounds, but if you’ve ever wanted to see Home Alone from the point of view of Wet Bandits, this is the movie for you.

You’re Next (2011)

Sharni Vinson in You're Next.  (Alamy)

Sharni Vinson in You’re Next. (Alamy)

Some criminals invade the family home and our brave protagonist must build a series of elaborate traps to stop them.

Read more: The best horror movies of 2022

Sure, You’re Next might look like a horror movie, with its evil masked killers, buckets of blood, and a “final girl” on their heads, but for all intents and purposes, it’s what it would be like if John Carpenter directed Home Alone .

The Equalizer (2014)

Robert (Denzel Washington) wonders if this hammer will be useful later in the film.

Robert (Denzel Washington) wonders if this hammer will be useful later in the film.

The third act of The Equalizer is basically Home Alone set in Home Depot.

Of course, our protagonist Robert (Denzel Washington) is a retired CIA agent who works in a hardware store (which sounds silly when we write like this) and not an eight-year-old boy who is stuck indoors because he has terrible parents, but both use everyday tools to brutalize people they disagree with.

There are definitely more deaths in The Equalizer, but only because Harry and Marv appear to be semi-indestructible.

(Editor’s note: This feature was first released in 2017)

Watch the trailer for Better Watch Out

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