On Dec. 4, 2014, a year ago today, Grantland writer Jason Concepcion wrecked the Yuletide season by revealing a truth no '90s kid could handle.
Kevin McCallister, the character Macaulay Culkin played in "Home Alone," eventually matures his propensity for Rube Goldberg-based violence to become Jigsaw from the "Saw" series.
The evidence beyond just the Rube Goldberg thing is deep and damning. To begin with the immediate surface-level clues -- both share fetishes for using video to taunt their victims. Both go to gruesome lengths in their physical attacks (although played for laughs, McCallister memorably sets a victim's scalp on fire with a blowtorch). Both, as Concepcion points out, share blonde hair, blue eyes, a ghostly pallor and a similar jawline.
But even more compelling is the direct link between moments from the "Home Alone" universe and how Jigsaw operates. The traps that McCallister creates have parallels to "Saw," and seem to be rudimentary versions of the more elaborate setups he'd put together later in life.
There's just an eerie similarity to how McCallister lures a victim who's trying to find him into an area he's covered in tar and tacks, to how Jigsaw lures a SWAT team into an area that takes out their legs. Both the young McCallister and the wheelchair-bound Jigsaw are relatively immobile at these stages in their lives and so they resort to attacks that bring others closer to their own physical prowess.
But what's the motivation for the eventual grandeur of Jigsaw? McCallister may already be a monster, but why would he progress his proclivities to the theatrics seen in the "Saw" series?
Concepcion points out a pivotal moment for Kevin McCallister where he hallucinates his home's basement furnace into a frightening monster. This is one of the only times McCallister is truly rattled by fear and feels the need to run away. Later in the "Saw" series, Jigsaw's creations seem to parallel this basement and the furnace monster, but what's most gasp-inducing is the object that can be seen right next to the frightened McCallister in this pivotal moment of panic -- "Something that raises the hairs on my neck even now," Conception wrote.
Just a few feet away sits a clown mask that looks eerily similar to the one Jigsaw would end up making infamous. As Concepcion ended his original post, "Case closed."
Concepcion originally realized this disturbing possibility while watching McCallister use the blowtorch on a victim's head in 2012. He tweeted about the similarity at the time, but it wasn't until last year's Christmas season that he spent numerous hours diving into both the "Home Alone" and "Saw" series to create what would become his compelling case.
In an interview with The Huffington Post, Concepcion explained that while watching "Home Alone" that time in 2012, "it just kind of clicked that these were the actions of a supremely disturbed child, and the parallels to the 'Saw' series seemed obvious." But still, to make writing an entire article about the story worthwhile, Concepcion felt he "needed to take it as seriously as one could possibly take a totally insane theory about two unrelated movies released, like, a decade-plus apart."
In 2015, fan theories like Concepcion's have become more and more viral across the internet, with a recent conclusion that hated "Star Wars" character Jar Jar Binks was actually an evil mastermind earning widespread coverage.
"There's something magnetic and titillatingly conspiratorial about a really thought-out fan theory; I think the genre, if that's what it is, is basically evergreen," Concepcion said, claiming that these sorts of articles are here to stay as long as writers keep putting in hilariously ostentatious levels of effort to prove the claims.
"I think they are held to a high standard, if unconsciously," Concepcion argued. "People can sense when someone put a lot of time into a thing. If there's one positive of the unforgiving churn of the Internet, it's that fan theories that aren't deeply thought-out or compellingly, entertainingly argued, just naturally get weeded out."
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