Wednesday, May 25, 2022
knock knock

MONSTER HOUSE. what is the monster house? no, not the 2006 robert zemeckis produced mocap kids movie. im talking about the horror trope that i tried to invent because there wasnt really an agreed upon term. (like, ok, "sentient house"? yeah fucking right. MORE SPECIFIC.) thus, the following thesis was born, which attempts to be a nonexhaustive bestiary entry for the monster house while exploring its many uses and appearances.

the monster house is— its basically like... okay. so what if there was a house. and there wasn't anything wrong with it. like it's not just a bunch of people died there and now are haunting the shit out of you. it's just that this house fucking HATES you.

Beginning in late 20th century written horror and bolstered in the 21st by the New Weird in novels that stretch beyond their covers to the extratextual internet, monster houses find their homes everywhere, stretching the "real" to its limits with audio and visual storytelling effects which redefine "space" in narrative. Monster house stories are works in which the instability of identity, history, and cultural values are reflected in instability of the physical world—of reality itself. "Seldom," Jeffrey Jerome Cohen writes, "are monsters [...] uncomplicated in their use and manufacture," which we see as our monster houses act as the vector for everything from grief to the idylls of suburbia, from queerness to authoritarian surveillance, from adolescence to technofetishism.

or, as kitty horrorshow once said, "In the psychology of the modern, civilized human being, it is difficult to overstate the significance of the house."

selected bestiary

just a few of the fac(ad)es you'll find within...

  • House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski
  • The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson
  • Anatomy, Kitty Horrorshow
  • Channel Zero: The No-End House, Syfy
  • Mabel, Becca De La Rosa and Maybell Marten
  • IT, Stephen King
  • Control, Remedy Entertainment
  • This House Has People In It, Alan Resnik
  • Tell Me I'm Worthless, Alison Rumfitt
  • Cam, Daniel Goldhaber, written by Isa Mazzei
  • P.T., Hideo Kojima
  • Severance, Apple TV (ik but still)




  The Monster House and Explorations of
Unstable Space in Modern Horror
available now HERE.

leave yr thoughts here/email/tumblr DMs/anyway: i love to talk.

bg image is "Azulejaria Branca em Carne Viva (White Tilework in Live Flesh)" by Adriana Varejão.