The Simple Explanation: The return of Macaulay Culkin

Macaulay Culkin is going to be in the next season of ‘American Horror Story’ and the old people are so excited about this, they are popping their frail hips. Their gray hairs are standing on end with glee. Their diapers cannot handle the load upsurge.

Meanwhile, the younger ones are confused. “What is going on?” they Millennially ask, “What is this? Is Mac Miller going to be a ghost in the long-running hit horror TV show?”

 

No, kids. That will be in poor taste.

 

If any rapper is to be revived for an acting gig, it will be Tupac. Let me explain.

 

Macaulay Culkin was one of the biggest stars in the world long long ago. Long before your parents were allowed to consider conceiving you or anyone else, back when we were little children and only able to watch other little children on TV.

The genre is sparsely populated in these decadent days, when every movie seems to star violence and or sex, but there was a thing called ‘family movies’ back then. And they were not cartoons. They were not even live action remakes of cartoon shows.

People made original movie content for children to enjoy with their families.

One of the most popular was a film called ‘Home Alone’.

‘Home Alone’ starred an 8-year-old boy named Macaulay Culkin. He was tiny and small and very much a child like us.

This is the plot synopsis: Macaulay’s character, Kevin McCallister, was part of a large and disorganised family who often went on festive season trips. In two of these trips, they were so negligent that they forgot to pack their youngest son and just flew off without him, leaving him alone at home and enabling the studio to craft two movies about his situation.

A small child left by himself in a large house. Sounds scary, right? You are thinking, no wonder he is going to be in ‘American Horror Story’. He already has experience in frightening and dangerous circumstances.

But the filmmakers didn’t play it that way. Instead, they made it a comedy. Kevin was having the time of his tiny life with the entire crib to himself then, plot twist, burglars attacked.

You are thinking it again — oh, this is when it becomes a horror. Danger is introduced to the story.

Well, yes, but no. You see, it wasn’t Kevin who was in danger. To paraphrase another olden-days family actor-turned dark, gritty adult TV show frontman, he was the danger.

(Oh, you didn’t know that Walter White was once a goofy family sitcom dad? Kids these days know nothing about their history.)

Kev proceeded to rig the house with traps and snares so deadly and lethal they would have made Tom and Jerry balk in shock. Jerry would squeak, “That’s going too far”. And Tom would say, “I pity them. Me, of all mammals.”

As the rest of the movie proceeded, Kev meted out gruesome terrors and grievous harm upon the burglars, the sort of torture that would have made them glad it was a kids movie so they can’t actually die, except it all looks so painful in retrospect that I suspect they were wishing for the sweet relief of death.

The kid was a genius psychopath. They had their skulls pummelled by flat irons and bowling balls, they were scorched by flamethrowers, they were stabbed, bludgeoned, impaled and, if I remember incorrectly, were waterboarded at least four times each.

It was fun to watch. Culkin’s terrorism was so entertaining that he went on to become one of the hugest stars of the 90s.

Then he grew up.

By ‘grew up’ I mean he became mature enough to realise that the life of a child star in this world is not a healthy one. I am not going to say anything about his close friendship with Michael Jackson besides this suggestion that maybe that example showed him how messed up you can get if you live your whole childhood in the celebrity system.

Not wanting to end up surrounded by little kids in compromising circumstances, he retired from acting at age 14. Clever boy.

I will say though that he was a really good actor. On the rare occasions after his retirement when he would deign to appear in another film he often killed it with complex, nuanced performances far removed from the basic cartoonism of his ‘Home Alone’ days.

So when he appears on ‘American Horror Story’, you kids are in for a treat.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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