The castle and house are key Gothic sites; however, in Australia, the absence of medieval castles and ruins led to a local variant of the Gothic mode, primarily focused on the domestic landscape. While scholars have recognized individual structures as Gothic locations, the rural dominates the fiction, film, and scholarship of Australian Gothic. Little attention has been paid to Australia’s suburbs and cities or the ways different types of Australian houses impact the Gothic narratives that take place in them. In this article, the authors examine a range of literary and filmic houses–Queenslanders, terrace houses, suburban bungalows–to interrogate how the architectural qualities of these spaces influence the Australian Gothic narratives set within them. The authors examine four key texts in which the phenomenological and physical dimensions of domestic architecture shape Gothic narratives, an initial foray into a broader, underconsidered field of scholarship on the way in which Gothic tropes are deployed in suburban and urban Australian narratives. Works discussed include Jennifer Kent’s film The Babadook (2016), Sonya Hartnett’s Butterfly (2009), Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses (2015), and Natalie Erika James’s film Relic (2020). In surveying this selection of texts, the authors explore how specific types of Australian urban and suburban houses produce representations of the domestic as a site of everyday horror, opening up Australian houses as Gothic sites fashioned by Australia’s distinctive suburbs, cities, and architectural styles.
Jeffery, Ella and Doolan, Emma
"“The house will come to you”: Domestic Architecture in Contemporary Australian Literature and Film,"
Antipodes: Vol. 34:
2, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/antipodes/vol34/iss2/9