‘Don’t blowtorch my head!’ The Home Alone recreation that nearly fried James Acaster and Guz Khan
Swinging paintcans, electrified sinks, a drop from a zipwire … in The Unofficial Science of Home Alone, the comics undergo the Christmas classic’s booby traps – to see what would really happen
In a grey corner of Borehamwood in deepest Hertfordshire, a film set is coming alive with one of Christmas’s most magical traditions: cartoonish ultraviolence. Bags of unopened marbles lie ready to shatter someone’s vertebrae. A blowtorch is rigged to incinerate the first person to step through a doorway. Piles of dented paint tins are freshly bent out of shape from being swung into torsos. And everywhere there is tinsel, fake snow and twinkling fairy lights. ‘Tis the season to be jolly, all right – jolly badly hurt.
This is the set of a new show celebrating one of the all-time classic Christmas movies. The Unofficial Science of Home Alone is a look at what would happen if you actually subjected someone to the film’s booby traps. To do so, they’ve created an exact recreation of the set and the pranks – with a couple of exceptions. First (presumably for legal reasons) the staircase is lined with photos of a family that looks like (but is not) the McCallisters, including a fake Macaulay Culkin whose blazer and dodgy bow-tie make him a closer match to a young Niles Crane. Also, as far as we can remember, the original movie did not star comedians James Acaster and Guz Khan as the Wet Bandits.