‘May I Please Enter’ by Alan Resnick review

Alan Resnick, known for his creepy and strange lil’ shorts that he puts out every once in a while, made this Adult Swim “small” known as “May I Please Enter”. And with it being sorta one of the “newer” ones of his, I thought I’d review it, in an opinionated way, talking about what I personally saw in it, so yeah, here we go.

So, Alan Resnick has been making stuff for years and years, whether it be mini series’, shorts, music videos, etc, and the common theme which most people and I could probably notice when watching his stuff, is that he really enjoys making people uncomfortable. Through either building unrealistic, yet surprisingly tangible tension, or through breaking the viewer’s expectations so irrationally, that they might not even know how a scene was supposed to make them feel. It definitely might not be for everyone, but hey, I think it’s pretty good, so yeah, this short “May I Please Enter,” is assuredly no different. 

Once you get to this point in the article you should probably watch it on YouTube if you’re interested (https://youtu.be/TgxSIFcTvLo). It’s about 10 minutes, and at least I think it’s pretty good enough to the point that it’ll be worth watching to avoid what could be considered spoilers. (That and you’ll probably not really understand like 80% of this without watching the short beforehand anyway).

So, it opens up with Alan in some sorta cowboy getup, doing a sort of “reality show” where he tries to enter someone’s home, and that’s supposed to just be the show I guess. By the first minute, he already sets the tone pretty well by contrasting the somewhat “upbeat” opening theme with an eerie aftermath of him looming towards the door of the house he “selected” and being strangely threatening towards the random people who he comes across while they wonder if he should come into their living space.

One thing you’ll notice, is how blunt, awkward, and strangely obvious every line of dialogue happens to be. This, while also adding to the humor of it all, sets the unsettling tone pretty well, as it leaves the viewer to desire some semblance of normalcy in an already uncomfortable situation.

Even self aware stuff, such as the “He reminds me of North American colonialism”, almost parodying the viewer trying to make sense of, and take meaning from, what they are being presented with, really just feeds into how unnatural it all is from the start. 

Alan Resnick honestly builds tension in a pretty impressive way as well. As one YouTube commenter put it, “This is a horror movie without the horror”. There is so much rising discomfort in how the audio cues, visual hints, and even scenes that look as though they contain eerie foreshadowing, all ultimately go nowhere, and just leave the viewer dazed and confused by the end of it all.

Like, the “other people live in this house” thing, just perfectly had the atmosphere of the obvious cadence which tells you “something’s not right”, but it just ends unresolved with Alan wanting to just go and see more of the house.

There’s plenty of scenes like this throughout that also do the “fake foreshadowing” thing, like the whole breathing slipper/weapon scene and whatnot, but I think you get the idea.

Another smaller scene I wanted to point out, was the whole part about those “funny little phrases they bought on the internet” with most notably the one that went: “Imagine being so wealthy that your body stops moving”, which sorta predicted the whole phenomenon of NFT’s that’s going on right now if you think about it. It’s not too important specifically to this review, but I just found that interesting watching it again and wanted to mention it here for whatever reason.

But honestly, no scene in this short really is integral or meaningful to the plot, which at the same time, makes all of it equally important, if that makes sense. I mean, without the atmosphere this is total nonsense, and nothing anybody does really matters, but honestly, that’s kinda what makes it, and things like it so interesting.

I mean, most narratives in general, take place in a comfortable “grounded” reality in how people interact with each other on a day to day basis. Like if you watch a movie where it takes place in a sorta crazy ol’ fantasy world or whatnot, characters will still be made to be like, relatable to the viewer. But this makes it seem almost as though our own world is more unreal than any fantasy situation we could see in a movie or book, as we watch just how honestly strange and unsatisfying everyday interactions, and general human behavior, could be as viewed as, through the perspective of a sorta artificial intelligence based robot, or something like that, looking into the breakdown of human behavior as a whole.

So, that’s how efficiently I feel Alan makes our world seem fictional. Like everything they do in the short, easily could be something people do in their every day lives, but it’s presented in such an unconventional, yet uncomfortably blatant way, that it feels almost like an uncanny reflection of how we as people see ourselves, and how incredibly alien and awkward it all feels when you just ever so slightly offset the typical path of how life plays out as a whole in human society.

So yeah, I personally thought it was amazingly strange, creepy, and awkward throughout all of it. And like all Alan Resnick’s shorts, I could definitely find the humor in the discomfort of it all, so I’m not gonna give it a score or anything, all I’m gonna say is, if you’re into this sorta thing, I hope you enjoyed it, and if not, at least you can see where I’m coming from with this breakdown/review of it.

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