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'Home Alone 2' Violence Unsuitable for Kids : Movies: Macaulay Culkin's dangerous antics are sending the wrong signals to children.

December 07, 1992|MEREDITH DAY | Day, a photographic inventor and author, is founder of MACE (Mothers Against Child Endangerment) as well as Self Propelled Educational Systems. and

It's no surprise that "Home Alone 2" took in $74.2 million in its first 10 days, including $38.9 million during the record-breaking Thanksgiving holiday weekend box office ("Thanksgiving Is Biggest Ever at Box Office," Nov. 30; "A Weekend to Warm a Mogul's Heart," Calendar, Dec. 1).

My 7-year-old and I played hooky from work and YMCA the day the movie opened so we could see it, and obviously throngs of others have done the same.

Unfortunately, this time around the producers have deleted all the cute stuff from the first "Home Alone" and instead focused on and pumped up the violence. Even my young son commented on how dangerous the film was. I believe this makes "Home Alone 2" totally inappropriate for children.

If you take children to the film, they will see a 10-year-old boy doing the following: playing with matches, playing with power tools, playing with bare electrical wires, playing with kerosene and other toxic substances and throwing bricks at people from the roof of a three-story building.

Not only does the 10-year-old leading character play with these things, but his sole intent is to hurt others. Using Ninja Turtles as an example, it is a fact that children like to "act out" their favorite movies.

What will the toddlers and young children seeing this movie choose to play with when they get home? Kerosene? Matches? Electrical wires?

My son Robert spends a lot of time at Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles because of his health. His surgeon, Dr. Larry Nichter, is constantly putting children back together who have been playing with the very items used in the movie.

Dr. Nichter and his associates rebuild faces that have been ravaged by fire and sew back on fingers and hands cut by power tools. Psychologists attempt to repair the damage to the souls of children involved in accidents in the home, that not only damage themselves but many times damage or kill their playmates as well.

In my opinion, the producers of "Home Alone 2" are guilty of gross negligence and child endangerment and should be held to task for it. The violence is as graphic as that in many R-rated films, the only difference being that when someone gets shot in those movies, they hurt, bleed and die. In "Home Alone 2," they get up, shake their head and walk away. What does this teach a child?

No child should see another child play with matches, power tools, kerosene and the like. More importantly, children should not be left with the thought that it is funny to set another human being on fire or shoot a nail gun into the face of another. (This scene in "Home Alone 2" is interesting. The nail gun shoots the bad guy in the face at point-blank range, but then it magically appears to have turned into a staple when he pulls it out.)

As wave after wave of laughter reverberated in the theater, all I could think of was the education the children were receiving. They loved watching Macaulay Culkin wire jumper cables to water lines. They screamed with laughter when Culkin set a man on fire and roared when the man tried to put out the fire by sticking his head in a toilet full of kerosene.

They rolled in the aisles when can after can of toxic fluid was poured into the mouths of the bad guys, once again engineered by Culkin.

After all the safety training by loving parents, how many children will go home and "act out" "Home Alone 2"? Like Humpty Dumpty, how many children will Dr. Nichter have to put back together?

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