Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim programming block has been the home to wild, surreal and experimental filmmaking for many years now… but over the past year, they’ve been pushing the boundaries of cinematic storytelling in the creepiest ways possible.
The network’s so-called “infomercial” programming, which tends to drop in the pre-dawn hours (often with no advance notice), is actually a thinly-disguised playground for filmmakers to go half-mad with surrealist concepts — like the retro-madness of Too Many Cooks, or the horrifying drug ad that interrupts Unedited Footage of a Bear.
At first, the only viewers to chance upon this programming were likely suffering from insomnia, blazing a little Sour Diesel, nursing a hearty hangover, or some combination thereof. But once word got out about the horrific content that sometimes appeared in that time slot, people started staying up or setting their DVRs for the indescribable weirdness to come.
Now it seems Adult Swim has upped the horror ante with their newest sucker-punch: the ominously titled This House Has People In It, a found footage freak-a-thon created by AB Video Solutions and Wham City (the same team behind Unedited Footage of a Bear), and directed by Alan Resnick. According to the filmmakers, the project is a pilot for a proposed series. Just let that sink in for a minute once you’ve seen these clips.
Over the course of 12 minutes, what begins as an apparent real-time demonstration for a multi-camera home security system slowly and steadily degrades into a full-on nightmare as parents deal with their teen daughter’s unexplained medical condition… which could be a highly contagious disorder apparently known as “Lynks Disease.”
As with Bear, this clip is just one facet of an alternate-reality game loaded with additional video clues, subliminal images, hidden links, and other macabre Easter eggs which will take you down some seriously disturbing rabbit-holes.
For example, there’s the “official” site of AB Surveillance Solutions, which looks like a boring corporate page… until you start snooping around (it’s not as easy as it sounds; they’ll push you to sign up for an account to access their “archives”… then the fun really begins).
All right, enough setup… here’s the segment which made it to TV:
This time, the producers had already primed their audience with creepy clues via Adult Swim social media, so by the time This House hit the airwaves, the Reddit community was already going apeshit with theories (looky here), especially after teasers like this one…