Alan Resnick plays a nameless cowboy who spends his time wandering around to visit people's homes. The film is spent showing his time as a guest in the house of Amy and John, who seem rather normal...on the surface, that is. What follows is a rather mundane house-tour, interspersed with moments of off-beat horror and confusion.
Watch it here.
Tropes found in the short-film:
- Cowboy: The main character is, at the very least, dressed completely in cowboy-clothing and spends his time Walking the Earth, whether or not he's a "real" cowboy is left ambiguous.
- Department of Redundancy Department: "And Amy, you look really good dressed up as that firefighter you're dressed up as!"
- Everything Is Racist: Amy, who is Asian, compares the Cowboy, who is white, wanting to visit their home to North American colonialism, not wanting to let him in for that reason.
- No Name Given: The Cowboy character is never named throughout the film, despite being the central character. Jon does call him "Alan" when they're taking the picture together, however.
- No Social Skills: The Cowboy acts very oddly, from demanding entry into other people's homes, to alternating between moments of deadpanned seriousness to casual humor, and being overly curious in general about Amy and John's place and lives, making his hosts seem uncomfortable or put-off by his strange behavior at several points.
- Ominous Knocking: The Cowboy bangs on the door of the house he wishes to enter, and the moment lasts just long enough to become unsettling; despite that the audience is aware of who's at the door, they aren't aware of who is on the other side, or what the Cowboy actually wants to do inside the house.
- Platonic Life-Partners: Amy and John have lived together for ten years, despite not being in a romantic relationship. This is somewhat downplayed by the fact that there are many other people living in the house with them, however, they are only seen briefly and nothing about their role in the house's dynamic is known.
- Sudden Soundtrack Stop:
- The Cowboy narrates over an upbeat montage of him seeing the house, only for the music to suddenly turn eerie and ambient when they're in the hallway, making things feel all the more unsettling even before the scene takes a turn into Surreal Horror.
- Later, Amy and John show off their collection of "animated sayings". The music suddenly goes quiet the Cowboy is told they got these "animated sayings" online.
- The trio are enjoying some snacks and conversation, when the music- and the conversation itself- goes silent after the Cowboy brings up politics.
- Surreal Horror: Throughout the short-film, it's clear that something isn't right in the house, and there are moments of very strange and nightmarish imagery alongside the otherwise mundane scenes of Amy and John giving the Cowboy a house-tour; for example, their doorbell ends up spooling-out on the ground like a noodle, they own a "weapon" that looks more like an ominous breathing sock, and have a room full of people "sleeping". Everything just leads to more questions, and nothing is resolved or explained by the end.
- Walking the Earth: The Cowboy spends his time wandering around, admiring and entering other people's homes. At the end, he laments that he has no home of his own, and must keep looking for one.