Like its predecessor, suburban Gothic writing is dark and disturbing, often employing psychological and supernatural devices to drive the plot along. It uses these devices not so much to entertain, but to explore social issues and to challenge the suburban dream.
Suburban Gothic strives to break down the facade of normality that pervades suburbia. The knights and heroes of traditional Gothic literature have been replaced in most cases by a heroic underdog figure. The grotesqueness of its characters lay not in the dis-figuration of the body but of the mind, delving into the dark and twisted psyche of its characters.
In most cases in Suburban Gothic literature good does not prevail. Wrongs are often left unrighted and are, in fact, often can not be righted. They are, in fact, often compounded when confronted.
Visual artists who explore suburban gothic themes include Australian Tanja Stark.