Tasmanian Gothic cinema… tends to be a response to its dark and wet landscapes, which register a paradoxical sense of beauty and menace. The dramatic inclines of Tasmania’s topography, its volatile climate, together with the wild and dense temperate forest, which covers a third of the state, form a forbidding mise-en-scene suggestive of a Gothic sublime… The island continues to be cast, derisively as well as romantically, as a strange outpost that harbours secrets.
"His Natural Life" is considered one of the first examples of Tasmanian Gothic literature. The 1927 film version was one of three film adaptations made of the book. MacMahon also used the novel as the basis for one of the first full-length motion picture films, produced in Australia in 1908 (22 minutes).There was another version in 1911, The Life of Rufus Dawes, based on Alfred Dampier's popular stage adaptation of the novel.