I KNOW he meant it as a joke, but THAT photograph of Macaulay Culkin was just a little too unsettling for me.

The Home Alone star, on hearing Disney plans to ‘reimagine’ the famous movie about a kid left behind when his family go on holiday at Christmas time, tweeted a picture revealing what the remake would ‘really’ look like.

It is far from pretty.

The 38-year-old looks half-asleep and miserable, his belly hanging out over grey sweat-shorts, balancing his laptop on his knees, with half-eaten plates of food surrounding him on the couch.

It is not attractive. Maybe it’s because we know Culkin’s career did become patchy and he struggled to regain his golden boy status after that startling early success, but this is bleak.

There is no Hollywood magic here, it is far too like a snapshot of real life - Too Close to Home, perhaps, rather than Home Alone? Just at the edge of the shot, an upside-down snowman cushion - a nod to the original movie’s festive setting - is almost too much to bear.

I don’t want to see Kevin like that. Kevin is cute and funny, an annoying but endearing little boy who comes up with a series of hilarious ways to bother and bash the burglars intent on breaking into his home, and it all ends with good triumphing over evil and some heartwarming messages about family and home and Christmas. It does NOT end with flabby bellies and dried-up noodles stuck to dirty plates.

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Fans are not happy with Disney’s plans to remake Home Alone, but reboots (reimaginings, revamps, whatever you want to call them) are not always a bad idea.

I may have been the only one, but I really loved the 2014 remake of Annie more than the original; Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins made me feel just as warm and fuzzy as the Julie Andrews version did when I was a child; and much-loved fairytales are being cleverly reinvented all the time (see: Frozen, Maleficent, Into the Woods etc, etc) with no harm done.

We recently watched a whole bunch of movies we loved when we were younger with our own boys, and it was fun to see their reaction to the likes of War Games, Big, and Jurassic Park. (The latter was a mistake. We thought the eleven-year-old was ready for some old-style dinosaur drama but boy, did we get that wrong. I’d forgotten just how scary that film is.)

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Far and away their favourite, though, was Home Alone, proving that silly slapstick and the dream all children have of being parent-free for a weekend, still goes a long way.

Tongue-in-cheek your photo may have been, Macaulay, but Disney take note - remakes are fine, as long as grim reality does not get in the way of the magic.