Fans of the Saw series have long thought that the deranged serial killer Jigsaw was the cancer patient-turned-psychopath John Kramer, but what if Jigsaw's real identity was a little more unexpected? What if he was Kevin McCallister from the beloved family comedies Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York? It seems far-fetched, but let's play a game.
Between November 1990 and February 1991, Home Alone was the number one film in America. It smashed out the competition (Child's Play 2, the third Godfather film, Disney's The Rescuers Down Under, etc.). It also gave birth to a new star – the captivating, too-cool-to-be-that-young Macaulay Culkin. So, on what planet does the wholesome Kevin McCallister become a killer? The same planet where a mom could forget her child on a family vacation (twice) and a horror series could span seven entire films (and counting).
The Home Alone fandom is teeming with fan theories, but this one takes the cake (or puzzle piece-shaped swath of skin depending on how murdery you like your metaphors). If you're wondering how Home Alone connects to Saw, the evidence largely falls on Kevin's demeanor. Is this confident boy with a knack for booby traps and a passion for voyeurism a budding serial killer or simply a child left to the devices of bad parenting? Here's the evidence that Kevin McCallister is Jigsaw – you decide.
In 2012, Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College assessed the damage the Wet Bandits experienced at the hands of Kevin. The doctor has a pretty eye-opening account and told The Week that at some point, he believes Kevin "moved from ‘defending his house’ into sheer malice."
He describes the damage of a glowing-hot doorknob:
"If this doorknob is glowing visibly red in the dark, it has been heated to about 751 degrees Fahrenheit, and Harry gives it a nice, strong, one- to two-second grip. By comparison, one second of contact with 155 degree water is enough to cause third degree burns. The temperature of that doorknob is not quite hot enough to cause Harry’s hand to burst into flames, but it is not that far off … Assuming Harry doesn’t lose the hand completely, he will almost certainly have other serious complications, including a high risk for infection and ‘contracture’ in which resulting scar tissue seriously limits the flexibility and movement of the hand, rendering it less than 100 percent useful. Kevin has moved from ‘defending his house’ into sheer malice, in my opinion.”
And there's the sickening effects of a blowtorch to the scalp:
“Harry has an interesting reaction to having a lit blowtorch aimed directly at his scalp. Rather than remove himself from danger, he keeps the top of his skull directly in the line of fire for about seven seconds. What was likely a simple second-degree skin burn is now a full thickness burn likely to cause necrosis of the calavarium (skull bone).” That means the skin and bone tissue on Harry’s skull will be so damaged and rotted that his skull bone is essentially dying and will likely require a transplant."
This stuff is beyond child's play. It's twisted.
A theory from Grantland alleges that when Kevin grew up to be Jigsaw, he re-created his childhood basement and filled it with traps. We know Kevin had a penchant for setting up traps in his own home, so recreating a sort of twisted childhood memory is exactly something a serial killer would do if he was a bit off his rails and reeling in unresolved issues from, say, the fact that his parents regularly abandoned him.
The basement in Saw II is strikingly similar to the basement Kevin is terrified of in Home Alone. It even plays on his intense fear of the furnace. Jigsaw puts the antidote to a poison inside of the furnace. When the victim grabs the antidote, the furnace door shuts. They're locked in and get burned alive.
In Home Alone, Kevin absolutely freaks out when his bully brother, Buzz, teases him about how there's no plain cheese pizza left. That, combined with the idea that he'd have to share a bed with his Coke-guzzling, bed-wetting cousin Fuller, drives him absolutely over the edge. Kevin makes a guttural scream while charging at Buzz. Though Buzz is larger and stronger than Kevin, the sheer force of Kevin's anger allows him to push Buzz back against the kitchen counter.
Kevin's violent tendencies come out again in Home Alone 2 when he throws bricks at the Wet Bandits. Bricks aren't something that would just deter a non-violent robber. They're something that would kill or permanently maim.
Between the pizza and the bricks, Kevin's violent tendencies aren't the only thing that's evident. Those two incidents show how easily he can snap – prerequisites for someone who dabbles in the murder business.
According to a Reddit theory, Kevin's home life is the root of his issues and the reason he becomes Jigsaw later in life. Kevin is constantly bullied and ridiculed at home. His family forgot him a whopping two times, which is no small feat (think about how hard it'd be to forget one of your siblings).
The theory alleges that the first time Kevin is forgotten, he gets over it because it was a genuine mistake. The second time completely shatters his world view. He begins to view everyone as corrupt and believes that no one – not even his mom – can be trusted to be good. If you can't rely on others to change their behaviors and harmful habits, you need to do it yourself. Jigsaw is born.