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Film / This House Has People in It

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This House Has People In It is a 2016 short film written and directed by Alan Resnick and distributed by Adult Swim. Like other Adult Swim Infomercials such as Too Many Cooks, it was aired at 4 AM from March 15th to March 19th, followed by Resnick's earlier piece Unedited Footage of a Bear. Shot from a series of security cameras inside one family's home, what seems to be a simple bout of adolescent protest turns out to be something much more.

In addition to the original short, there is a website for the surveillance company with some ARG elements as well as a homepage for the Sculptor's Clayground.


This House Has Tropes in It:

  • Arc Welding: It was hinted in an interview with a producer from Wham City that Unedited Footage of a Bear and This House Has People in It could be in the same universe, though they weren't necessarily written to be.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Implied with the entire family, but incredibly explicit with Tom and Anne. Much more pronounced in the extra footage from the site. Madison might actually be the best adjusted of them... ...until she starts sinking into the floor, anyway.
  • Baby-Doll Baby: One of the logs showing Tom surprising the family with a Christmas tree (in June) has Madison holding a baby doll. Note that this happens after the main video, where the baby crawls out of the garden...note 
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  • Bad Bedroom, Bad Life: Though Jackson's family loves him, the stress of the new family dynamic is causing him to be neglected; his bedroom shows this off well. Not only does he have to live with his step-grandmother, who keeps her clay sculptures all over their room, but his bed doesn't have any bedsheets.
  • Bad Liar: The sculptor; pretty much anything he says is a lie or contradiction. Yucky Ear in itself is just a very bad photoshop he appears to have made.
  • Believing Their Own Lies: Due to the unclear nature of Lynks Disease as to whether or not it actually exists, it's additionally unclear whether or not the sculptor from Sculptor's Clayground actually believes that it's real or not considering his Bad Liar tendencies from the need to make up evidence that it exists. That said, it should be noted that his eyes (normally covered up by glasses), seem to be visually red and diseased.
  • Bilingual Bonus: There are several words in the environment that all roughly translate to observe which is what the viewer is doing.
  • Big Brother Is Watching: Possibly. AB Security notes everyone in the house as Subjects on their website once you login and refers to them as Subjects at the start of each video segment and the main video.
  • Blended Family Drama: The series is about a newly-blended family, with Tom and his son Jackson moving in with his new wife Anne, her daughter Madison, and their grandmother. It's mentioned in one video that they're all having a hard time adjusting, but that Jackson is having the hardest time, especially since he's stuck sleeping in the same room as the grandmother. Madison, meanwhile, finds him weird, and she is reminded by Anne that they need to be more mindful of how they share the space in their house.
  • Blessed with Suck: The dubiously-existent Lynks Disease gives you perfect pitch and makes you a really talented singer, at the cost of having a rather disgusting ear and ruining your life.
  • Captain Ersatz: Boomy the Cat is a fairly obvious one for Sonic the Hedgehog. He's a blue cartoon character with red running shoes who moves really fast.
  • Cast Full of Crazy: Just about everyone except Jackson in this is wacko-jacko, from Tom's Manchild tendencies to various characters doing odd things like touching their faces. This is likely a result of everyone suffering from Lynks Disease (or at least, believing they do).
  • Central Theme: Perception and how it's shaped. Characters will frequently acknowledge things that aren't there or fail to acknowledge things which are there, which extends to characters disagreeing over what they see (the most extreme example being Tom and Anne disagreeing over whether it's daytime or nighttime in one audio clip). In addition, all of the house's supernatural events are implicitly attributed to a Clap Your Hands If You Believe situation, with the family being tormented because they believe that they will be. This even extends to the viewer themselves; the confusing nature of the story only arises because the whole of it isn't shown.
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: How the pink humanoid was possibly brought into existence. The more the family believes they have the disease, the more often it seems to show up in the background of the videos.
  • Cope by Creating: The Sculptor, creator of "The Sculptor's Clayground," keeps referencing his messy breakup with his ex and his time in prison, where he apparently learned to work with clay to get his emotions out. He's not very good at it, however, and it may or may not have given him "Lynks Disease."
  • The Cracker: A possible side effect of whatever is causing the events to happen in the house causes Jackson to try hacking into some type of database.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • Alan Resnick plays the host of Sculptor's Clayground.
    • The pink humanoid is played by Wham City member Cricket Arrison.
  • Daylight Horror: Nearly all of the videos, including the main video, take place in broad daylight in a normal-looking household, and even ones that take place during night are made extremely bright.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Said word-for-word on Sculptor's Clayground when he lifts part of the clay's head up.
  • Driven to Madness: The family and repairman, as "Lynks Disease" spreads through the family; from weird face-touching rituals, to short-term memory loss, to Tom apparently losing control of his own body, the family and Dennis go crazy.
  • Driving Question: What is Lynks Disease, and is it even real?
  • Eccentric Artist: The sculptor character is a weirdo who rambles on about Lynks disease, is delusional about how good his art is, and runs a very weird, poorly-written, and unprofessional website.
  • Eldritch Location: The house itself possibly since anyone who comes near it or goes inside appears to be affected by whatever Lynks Disease possibly is. At the end of the video, everyone who came to Jackson's birthday party are suddenly laying down like Madison. Also, the house may have bizarre gravity properties to it as there are times Tom and others are entirely unable to get up at all despite the effort of someone else trying to help lift or pick them up. Could also tie into Alien Geometry if the one audio file is to be believed. Is there really a third floor or did Anne forget the second floor exists?
  • Exact Words: In a disturbing piece of Foreshadowing, the opening title card's log notes display: "Subject 3 prone in kitchen floor."
  • Failed a Spot Check:
    • The family at several points when the pink humanoid should be in plain sight. They also don't seem to notice Boomy the Cat, except for only Jackson, who shows concern about in a letter. Jackson seems to notice the former as well, as Madison writes in a letter that he seems to be making up another character; she's not aware of any Boomy the Cat character who is pink.
    • In one of the supplementary videos, Tom and Anne are having a conversation in full view of Dennis the repairman being beaten up by 2 strangers through the window. Interestingly, the conversation they're having is about how Tom went to the eye doctor and suspiciously denies being offered glasses.
  • For Science!: How AB Security possibly sees the events occurring in the house.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The last frame after the credits. Whatever the being is, it is humanoid and pink.
    • It is also seen in several frames throughout the video coming from an unseen room that looks like the basement at first.
    • Within the main video itself, there are several split-second images occasionally flashing between camera cuts, including, but not limited to: 2 men stepping out from behind two trees in the backyard, a blue-ish creature running past the camera which seems to be Boomy the Cat in real life, the front yard at night which appears to have somebody standing menacingly in the distance, a shot of the living room with the TV showing what appears to be the room itself from a different angle, and... whatever the hell this is.
    • The log videos on the website also have these on occasion. Several of them have hidden images of Boomy the Cat in or around the house, while two logsnote  have a split second image of Tom and Anne in the back yard, with Tom doing jumping jacks and Anne chopping down a tree with a machete.
    • At one point in The Sculptor's Clayground, the words "Please Take me back, Sam." appear on screen for a frame.
  • Funny Background Event:
    • Blink and you'll miss it, but Jackson's happy birthday banner in the living room is missing the letter 'R'.
    • The repairman getting beaten up in the background while nobody acknowledges it is more of a "Scary Background Event," but can still be this depending on how twisted your sense of humor is.
  • Giftedly Bad: "The Sculptor", who goes so far as to run his own sculpting TV show called "The Sculptor's Clayground", can't actually make decent clay sculptures. Everything he makes is all turns out to be a lumpy, misshapen mess at best with random sticks, rhinestones and paint splatters for good measure. He doesn't even put it into a kiln to harden it - he leaves it in a doughy mess. Despite this, he's delusional enough to feature several pictures of his art on his website, which claims that his art was sold to rich patrons or "a collection of good art".
  • The Ghost: Whoever Sam is, the sculptor seems to miss her a lot, although there are possible hints he may have done something to her.
  • Humanoid Abomination: Whatever the pink human is that seems to be wearing the missing bed sheets from Jackson's bed. It shows up at several points in the main video and the shorter hidden videos. Escalates in the last hidden video where it enters Tom and Anne's bedroom, terrifying them. Could also be what Tom and Anne end up screaming in fear at during some of the audio logs. It may also have supernatural abilities as after it "mows" the lawn at night, Tom is no longer able to lift the mower despite all his efforts. Another possibility is it could be the Lynks Disease given human form that came to exist the more the family believes they have the disease. It likely appears before Tom and Anne in the last video clip because they believe strongly they do have Lynks Disease and it is going to continue terrifying them because of it.
  • Immediate Self-Contradiction: The host of Sculptor's Clayground says that clay causes Lynks Disease, but, a moment later, says it cures it. Many pages on the website have similar self-contradictions.
  • Informed Species: From what we see of him, Boomy the Cat looks almost nothing like a cat. In fact, he looks more like a hedgehog.
  • Insistent Terminology: "Grey 12 Gauge Granular Clay." For those not in the know, clay isn't even measured in "gauges." Shotgun barrels and ammo are measured in gauges.
  • Just for Pun: The Sculptor's clay puns, starting with the very name of his show— "The Sculptors Clay-ground."
  • Manchild: Tom if some of the hidden videos are anything to go by. He's as obsessed with "Boomy the Cat" as Jackson is, for starters...
  • Mental Monster: Though ambiguous, one possible interpretation for the creepy, pink humanoid that lives in the house is that it is a manifestation of Tom and Anne's fear of Lynks Disease taking over their family, explaining why it's wearing Jackson's missing bed-sheet, is as pink as the baby's hat, and causes the lawnmower to be stuck to the ground much like Madison in the main short-film.
  • Mind Screw: One of the screwiest examples, as it succeeds in making it obvious that there is some hidden meaning to be "solved", but also delights in making it impossible to pin down what exactly that is.
  • Mind Virus: Lynks Disease, possibly.
  • Mysterious Watcher: Two men are seen at several points and are possibly the same men who beat up the repairman right outside the living room, which neither Tom or Anne seem to notice.
  • Mythology Gag: The young boy who plays Jackson in This House Has People in It is the same actor who played Donna's son in Unedited Footage of a Bearnote . As such, one of the photos seen in the house is a photo of Donna's son. A bottle of Claridryl from the same short can also be seen on a shelf in the living room in a quick close-up shot.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Whatever happened between the sculptor and Sam that caused Sam to go away or possibly worse.
    • Whatever happened in the third Lynks Newsletter about taking some Lynksers outside to see how being outside affects them.Whatever happened scared Tom to the point he does NOT want to go outside and shows very odd behavior when retrieving one of the repairman's tools from the front porch.
  • Nothing Is Scarier:
    • What are Tom and Anne screaming in fear at at the end of several of their calls? The pink thing?
    • Whatever they are scared of seems to possibly be scared of them as well or trying to imitate them as a third scream is heard sometimes.
  • Only Sane Man:
    • Anne's doctor, who heavily hints that Lynks Disease is not real and that he is getting annoyed by her constantly bringing in blood samples to test for the disease.
    • Jackson as well. Aside from when he tries to hack into some type of database in the kitchen on four computers, he does not show any signs of believing he has Lynks Disease.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: While it is extremely unclear, as intended, Boomy the Cat seemingly is portrayed in his media as both an anthropomorphic cat, or, as shown in the Boomy.exe game, as a man in a Boomy costume.
  • Quicksand Sucks: While the exact circumstances are very surreal, the panic and terror of two parents realizing their child is prone and stuck to the floor then slowly sinking through it is shown to be very, very real.
  • Red Herring: Anything that might seem symbolic or hold the answer to what is going on. The main video, hidden videos on AB Security's website, and letters even when all put together leave the viewer as confused as ever because the video is about not having enough clues or evidence to actually put together what is going on. Even all the missing letters from words throughout the videos and notes yield no answer when put together.
  • Revealing Continuity Lapse: The main short-film video alone features phantom hands coming from a part of the basement where nobody could possibly be hiding and Madison phasing through the floor to fall on a mattress in the basement, only to disappear in an immediate cut to the screams of her parents.
  • Running Gag: Aside from the pizza mentioned in Trademark Favorite Food, occasional audio and video logs will have Anne comment that a character in the book she's reading died, either nonchalantly or enough to drive her to tears.
  • Sanity Slippage: Tom and the grandmother appear to be the most affected by whatever is going on, with Anne not far behind.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • Alan Resnick and the rest of Wham City Comedy did quite a bit of research regarding clay and the effects of eating clay.
    • Same applies to perception, how the family sees things happening and how the viewer sees things happening.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Boomy the Cat is a rather strange one for Sonic the Hedgehog. A fast, blue costumed human figure with blue sneakers appears in the short, lurking in the backyard and eating garbage like a wild animal. The figure also shows up in a hidden flash game on the AB Surveillance System's website and drawings in the short & the ARG. It's implied in the ARG that the young boy, Jackson, who drew the pictures and is a huge fan of Boomy, has become preoccupied with the costumed figure showing up in his front yard and that the actual Boomy character doesn't resemble the figure at all. His father, Tom, is secretly a fan too, but he takes this secretive fandom to strange extremes, namely by making drawings that aren't that much better than Jackson's. On close inspection, he seems to be the costumed figure himself.
    • Also, in a possible shout out to Alantutorial, during Sculptor's Clayground, the sculptor says he is making a three layer pot but ends up making something else entirely, much like how Alan always messed up his tutorials.
      • The Sculpter's Clayground also has a jumpcut on the footage of the potter's wheel—it cuts from a small start to a pot to what looks like a metal rod sticking straight up with clay shaped oddly around it. This greatly resembles, from the final episode of Alantutorial, the stumps of meat on spinning rods found in the room.
    • Boomy the Cat's love for garbage could be another shout out to alantutorial as there are two episodes were alantutorial digs through trash to eat.
    • The log entry number typed in at the beginning is 00451. "451" is the classic first password in System Shock and games inspired by it (such as Deus Ex, BioShock, and even Sanitarium). Of course, this in turn is a reference to Fahrenheit 451.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Although the Sculptor does appear to buy into what he's telling the audience, it's heavily implied that what he's saying is completely false, and that he's just tricking everyone.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • The broken links on the Sculptor's Clayground clue in the viewer that Lynks Disease is not real and is all in the family's heads.
    • The picture of the horse and apple in the intro for Sculptor's Clayground. Horse/crab apples are a type of fruit said to have healing powers, but it is also another way of saying bullshit, or lying, which the sculptor often does.
  • Stylistic Suck: The website for the Sculptor's Clayground is riddled with typos, broken HTML parsing, and 90's clip art. This carries onto the production of the actual Sculptor's Clayground show, which would be right at home with the many fake infomercials seen on Adult Swim. The Boomy flash game is this as well, looking like something you'd find on Newgrounds.
  • Stalker with a Crush: The grandmother towards the repairman, possibly. She has pictures of him on her tablet device that she is happy seeing and is later seen entering the house in another segment in handcuffs, trying to hide that she is handcuffed from Anne.
  • Surreal Horror: What's really going on and why this is happening to these poor people isn't really explained.
  • The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: If the Sculptor's Clayground website is even being the slightest bit honest, you already have Lynks Disease and are dying from it.
  • Trademark Favorite Food:
    • Apparently the family only eats pizza made out of clay as many audio logs mention getting pizza for dinner.
    • Boomy the Cat only eats trash and chases after the deer whenever they appear or are nearby.
  • Unexplained Recovery: The end of the main video has Madison falling into the basement on a mattress as people scream, with a split second showing a scene of the mattress in the basement with nobody around, suggesting she continued to phase into oblivion. Despite this, she appears in the timeline alive and well with nobody acknowledging the incident.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight:
    • Boomy the Cat, which only Jackson seems to notice and is a bit worried about as they look nothing like the cartoon character. On close inspection, however, it seems that "Boomy" is just Tom in a costume.
      • The "Subject Logs" show that Boomy cooks lasagna in the kitchen at one point. Apparently nobody questioned a character from a children's show in their house making lasagna at 10:30 in the morning.
    • Madison, which neither Anne or Tom notice for several minutes before thinking she's just making a scene. She's stuck to the floor and seems to be in a trance before she starts slowly falling through the floor...
  • Unwitting Test Subject: All of the characters are referred by both the end credits and the In-Universe AB Surveillance Solutions as numbered subjects, although it's unclear whether or not any of them are aware of it.
  • The Virus:
    • There is frequent mention in both the original short and the accompanying sites of Lynks Disease, which the entire family (and possibly their entire town) suffers from.
    • It can also possibly be spread by Grey 12 Gauge Granular Clay, although given a couple of clues in the Sculptor's Clayground intro, the sculptor could be lying.
  • Visual Pun:
    • The intro for The Sculptor's Clayground has the sculptor looking at images of a horse and an apple next to each other. As noted with Stealth Pun above, Horse apples are the more formal way of saying "horseshit" or "bullshit".
    • The sculptor in the Sculptor's Clayground intro keeps having glasses or sunglasses cover his eyes because he does not want the viewer to see the truth. This point extends to Tom and Anne discussing Tom getting or needing glasses while the repairman is being beaten up right outside their window.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real: Whatever the Daily Lynks newsletters say are possible symptoms of Lynks Disease, Tom starts to display the systems or behave as though he has the symptoms. The first newsletter states the online test is as accurate as a doctor's test. One of the symptoms listed is "having perfect pitch," and at one point after loudly screaming and singing about a flag, he starts to cry, believing he has confirmed that he passed the test in the Daily Lynks showing further signs he has the disease. According to the timeline, it seems the entire family is susceptible to symptoms and signs listed in the Daily Lynks newsletters as soon as they're listed, including heavier gravity (which may or may not be literal), forgetfulness, watching yourself on TV, phasing through objects such as the floor, and head collapse, whatever the hell that last one entails.