Dan Mazer is the man behind hit comedies like Borat and Dirty Grandpa, but his latest project has quite a different feel to it.

He most recently directed the Disney+ feature Home Sweet Home Alone, a new entry in the beloved holiday franchise.

“The fact that they have a very different energy is the thing that appealed to me,” said Mazer. “I’ve spent my life making filth and movies that my children cannot even see a single frame of… I wanted to make something they could watch and enjoy.”

And for Mazer, there could be no better opportunity to shift into family comedy than this one.

“My youngest daughter is obsessed with Home Alone… It seemed almost cruel of me to turn down the opportunity if it was offered,” explained Mazer.

As a fan of the original films—and with the judgement of Mazer’s toughest critic, his daughter, on the line—the director set out to preserve the most important part of the franchise as best he could: the elaborate trap effects.

“I was very intent on using as little CGI as possible. I wanted to keep it real. Have the actors reacting to real things and see the real genuine fear in their eyes as things propelled towards them,” said Mazer.

Just as it’s easier to see Max’s pranks play out on screen than it would be to live through them, it’s easier to set them up and watch them play out from behind the camera. In fact, that’s why Mazer sees his work on Home Sweet Home Alone as not-too-distant from his work on Borat.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat; Rob Delaney as Jeff McKenzie in Home Sweet Home Alone

“That’s sort of the key to my life professionally. I spend my time getting people to do things I absolutely in a million years would never do,” said Mazer. “Whether it’s Sacha [Baron Cohen] as Borat when we go out to a white supremacist rally and get him to goad them as much as possible as I stand behind the camera and get him to go further, or whether it’s pummeling Rob Delaney in the groin… Now that I think about it, that says many things about me.”

So, there you have it. Whether you’re landing an R-rating or a PG-rating, the key to directing comedy is pushing things just a little bit further.

To learn more about Mazer’s experience directing Home Sweet Home Alone, including the trap he would personally most hate to face, check out our full interview below.

Home Sweet Home Alone is streaming exclusively on Disney+.