After just sitting through the millionth viewing of Home Alone (and still loving it) this Christmas, I realized something. There's an untold story there. A story filled with family drama, ugly rumors, revenge and redemption. A story about...
The South Bend Shovel Slayer
If you're a big fan of the Tremors film franchise (and the upcoming TV series!) you know that #1 was set in Perfection, Nevada. #2 was in Sonora, Mexico, a few years later. #3, Back to Perfection, goes back to the town, and #4, The Legend Begins, goes WAY back to Rejection Valley, which would become Perfection Valley.
This is the kind of thing I'm suggesting for Home Alone...going back to 671 Lincoln Boulevard in Winnetka, Illinois, to tell the untold story of Old Man Marley. Or as you might know him, the South Bend Shovel Slayer. From his point of view.
It all begins years ago, before the Wet Bandits were outwitted and apprehended, actually with the help of the Slayer. Old Man Marley is living a peaceful, normal life on Lincoln Boulevard, in Winnetka, Illinois. The kids on his block all agree; it's the most boring street in the whole United States of America, where nothing even remotely dangerous will ever happen. Period. Marley, a recent widower, lives by himself, and keeps to himself, for the most part. He has taken it upon himself to salt the sidewalks each winter when they freeze, because he cares about his neighbors.
One night, him and his son have a falling out. It wasn't a public, knock-down drag-out fight or anything, but words were spoken, they told each other they didn't wish to see the other any more, and the went their separate ways.
His son grew older, got married, and had a daughter, who is alienated from her grandfather, much to his dismay.
Years passed, and word started spreading around the neighborhood about the old man who lives alone, doesn't appear to have any family, and salts the sidewalks. The adults pay no attention to the rumors, but the children on the street tell each other the stories under blankets with flashlights,
outside in their treehouses,
and as they look out their windows
at the lonely old man shoveling salt. How the salt is part of his nefarious, murderous plans.
He pretends it doesn't hurt, but he can't help but want to talk to the kids, to let them know how harmless he really is.
Despite knowing he's not welcome in his son's home, Old Man Marley goes to watch his granddaughter sing at the church one year, and has a chance meeting with this freaked out little kid-
who ends up changing his life.
Not only is he able to begin the process of clearing his name by actually being able to sit down with one of the little sh*ts that's been spreading rumors around about him, and tell him he's not a crazed murderer, but the kid ends giving him some pretty good advice about not being afraid to talk to his son.
As the kid gets up and goes, Marley thinks about his advice, and gives him one last look as he leaves.
He sees the kid running out the doors, and knows something is wrong, so he follows Kevin home to make sure he's okay.
Back at his house, Marley sees the action unfolding, and is about to go call the police when he sees and hears the screams of the robbers being outwitted. He waits in the shadows, making sure the kid is okay, and actually halfway enjoys the show from outside the windows. It's not until he sees Kevin zip-line from his house to the treehouse that he decides it's way passed the time to call the police.
Back at his house, the 911 operator tells Marley that the robbery has already been called in, but it's for the house across the street! Marley hangs up, and heads directly to the 656 Lincoln Boulevard, which is currently flooding. He arrives at the exact moment one of the Bandits is about to bite one of the kid's finger off, and, in one last act of irony, saves the day with his shovel.
After being questioned by the police, he goes straight home to call his son, realizing that, after his little bit of excitement, that life is short and he needs to reconcile with his family. Or at least try.
His story ends the same way Home Alone started, with Kevin looking out his window, this time seeing Marley's reunion with his son, his son's wife and his granddaughter.
Only this time, Kevin isn't scared half to death; he's smiling
and so is Old Man Marley