The Best Horror Board Games of All Time

The Best Horror Board GamesBoard games are making a comeback. The steady release of boutique board games and the cult status of party games and European imports has brought us to a sort of renaissance in board gaming.

We could argue all day about what’s responsible for this new interest in board gaming: dwindling entertainment budgets forcing families to stay home, the Internet as a trendsetting medium allowing people to find games easier, etc. The point isn’t why we love board games again, but to celebrate our newfound love of games by trying out new titles and adding to our collection when we find a game we love.

Horror board games are a small subgenre of board gaming. There aren’t a ton of board games with a horror theme, classic or modern. Traditionally, board games are more about trivia, luck, and teamwork than a focus on genre like we see with horror board games. Still, we can think of three horror board games that deserve the title “best horror board games of all time.” Here’s a quick look at three classic horror board games.

1. Arkham Horror

This adventure board game is based on the writings and the fictional worlds of HP Lovecraft. Originally released in 1987 and re-released in revised editions in both 2005 and 2007, Arkham Horror puts players in the roles of various types of investigators in Lovecraft’s fictional town of Arkham. Arkham Horror, especially in the two more contemporary versions, is more like a tabletop roleplaying game than a board game, though because the game is played on a board with cards and other traditional game pieces, it is most definitely a board game. If you like the creepy monsters and gods of the Lovecraft universe, check out Arkham Horror.

2. Zombies!!!

Zombies!!! is a strategy board game celebrating zombies in contemporary fiction and movies. With nearly a dozen expansions and other spin-offs, Zombies!!! is one of the most popular horror board games, though the horror is downplayed in favor of general zombie silliness. New maps, characters, and game rules are released all the time, providing a ton of support for fans of this addictive zombie horror board game.

3. Last Night on Earth

Listed as a “survival horror board game,” Last Night on Earth is a massive game that comes with an audio CD to help set the mood. The graphics of the board and cards are photo-realistic, giving this game a true horror feel, especially compared to the more funny / sarcastic horror found in Zombies!!!. Plenty of expansion and supplements exist to expand the scope of the game’s universe.

The Best Horror Short Stories of All Time

The Best Horror Short StoriesWhen it comes to horror stories, quality varies widely from one story to the next. There are thousands of writers in the horror genre, from amateur and self-published bloggers scribbling creepy tales online to HP Lovecraft stories and the writings of other acknowledged horror masters. Trying to figure out the best horror short stories of all time can be a frustrating experience; everyone’s taste is different, and there are so many horror stories in print that selecting just a handful of stories to represent the entire genre is a mind-boggling task.

It would be easy, for example, to include any number of Stephen King horror stories, but thanks to the prejudices of some horror genre fans, anything King touches isn’t really horror, is too popular for inclusion on the list, or is just too easy of a choice.

On the other hand, including one of the stories of Edgar Allen Poe may seem like a no-brainer, since he’s considered one of the first and greatest American horror story writers. But the horror genre has grown up since the days of Poe’s creepy tales, and Poe’s stories just don’t hold the appeal they once did, especially for young horror fans used to Hollywood special effects and instant gratification.

With all that in mind, here’s a quick look at three great horror short stories. Are these the best horror short stories of all time? That’s up to you. We’re sure you’ll find at least one truly great horror story on this short list.

1. Charlotte Perkins-Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper”

Often overlooked as a great example of short horror fiction in favor of its place in the pantheon of feminist fiction, Perkins-Gilman’s tale of a woman’s descent into madness is a truly creepy goosebump-creating piece of short fiction. If you feel yourself drawn into the mad world of the story’s protagonist, you’re not alone.

2. HP Lovecraft, “Shadow Over Innsmouth”

All of the features of Lovecraft’s best writing can be found in this creepy little novella, just five chapters long but stuffed to the gills (pun intended) with pitch-perfect horror writing. The story tells of an investigation into strange happenings in a small New England town. The final chapter is one of the great pieces of American horror writing ever.

3. Peter Straub, “A Short Guide to the City”


Straub’s story is difficult to pin down: part experimental fiction (blending two different genres into one) and part horror story, “A Short Guide to the City” is one of the great modern horror stories. Published in 1990, Straub’s story hints at horror fiction’s Gothic past and it’s hypertextual Web-based future.

Horror DVDs and Blurays

As an avid horror movie collector, I consider myself an expert on horror DVDs and Blurays. The majority of my movie collection is horror movies, and these days, most of my movie collection is on either DVD or Bluray. Horror DVDs line the walls of my bookshelves, take up space under my bed, and arrive daily in the mail for addition to my home film library.

Horror Bluray discs are the most recent addition to my film collection; I was a late arrival to the Bluray scene, but I suggest that all horror fans add Bluray discs to their collection. I know, I know, it’s expensive to add another format: you have to buy a new player and all new discs. But there are some good reasons to include horror Bluray discs to your horror movie collection:

  • more features
  • HD video and audio
  • more viewer interaction

I find that horror movies on Bluray tend to have more special features, thanks to more storage space on the disc itself. That means more interviews with cast and crew, more outtakes, trailers, and other goodies you won’t find on the DVD version.

Don’t neglect the benefits to the way movies look and sound thanks to HD video and audio available in the Bluray format. Horror movies depend on good video quality and good audio quality to set the mood of the film. I find I enjoy horror movies on Bluray more than the same films in their DVD versions.

The latest thing in Bluray discs is increased interaction between the viewer and the movie. Some horror titles on Bluray have special interactive features, allowing you to pick a camera angle, select an ending, take part in a quiz about the movie, etc. These features are only available on Bluray, again thanks to the increased storage capacity of a Bluray disc.

A final reason you should expand your horror collection to include Blurays: it will help you proof your movie collection for the near future. Switching to Bluray now means you will have the latest versions of movies for at least the next 5-10 years, depending on when the next big video format appears. You know you’ll have to switch eventually; you may as well start now.

If you’re a horror movie nut, find out more about horror movies on DVD by talking to other horror fans about horror DVDs at DVDForum. While you’re at it, start a discussion about switching to Bluray and see what other horror movie fans have to say about the format.

Horror Films of the 1970’s

Horror Films of the 1970sThe best 70s horror movies is a common topic of debate among us here at horrorfan. We’re children of the 70s, and our love for the horror films of our birth decade eclipses pretty much everything else in our lives. The 70s can’t be matched in terms of horror movie gore; directors started adding more gory effects and buckets of blood to try and add something fresh to what was becoming a tired genre. Unfortunately, the horror movies of the 70s also can’t be matched in terms of cheesiness; there are just as many bad 70s horror movies as there are good ones.

Horror movies are a huge part of the cultural history of the 70s, and even the bad horror movies can be so bad they’re good. At very least, if you grew up in the 70s, the horror movies from that decade are an important link to your past. Maybe you remember staying up late and watching cheesy low-budget horror movies on TV or sneaking out to the drive-in to catch a movie you were too young to see. Either way, most people’s memory of the 70s involves horror movie classics.

The 70s without horror movies wouldn’t be the 70s. To that end, here is a quick breakdown of what are generally considered the three best horror films of the 1970’s.

1. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Today’s lineup of homemade, low-budget, indie horror flicks owes everything to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. This is a classic slasher film made on a shoestring budget starring horror icon Leatherface. You won’t find many horror movies with more tension or gore than  can be found here, a truly scary horror flick that broke all the rules.

2. Black Christmas (1974)

A hybrid Christmas and horror movie, Black Christmas doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Blending Christmas and horror sets the mood for this creepy story of a group of college girls being picked off one by one by a mysterious killer. Some truly scary moments here, with a classic 70s look and soundtrack.

3. Halloween (1978)

The original Halloween is the grandfather of every “creepy serial killer that wears a mask” movie ever made. In Halloween, the killer is a mask-wearing psycho named Michael Myers who breaks out of a mental hospital to terrorize a woman played by a young Jamie Lee Curtis. Halloween has been called one of the most influential movies of all time, and most of today’s horror movies borrow from this flick in one way or another.

The Best Dracula Movies of All Time

There are over 150 Dracula movies out there . . . so how is a horror movie fan to choose? Dracula is the most popular horror movie character, a classic that movie storytellers can’t seem to stay away from. Instead of wading through all 161 movies starring Dracula, stick to the best Dracula movies of all time.

Dracula, the world’s favorite horror villain/hero, is your grandfather’s kind of vampire. No, we’re not talking about the kind of vampires you find in the Twilight movies, though some Dracula movies are spoofs or comedies that may not treat him with the most respect. For the most part, the best Dracula movies of all time tend to show Dracula in a more classical light.

Dracula is a megastar in the horror world, appearing in Dracula comics, TV shows, books, and any other media you can think of. How do you dig through the piles and piles of Dracula movies to find the best of the best?

Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here are the three best Dracula movies of all time.

1. Dracula (1931)

Nobody has ever or will ever play Dracula like Bela Lugosi in this Dracula classic. While this wasn’t the first Dracula movie ever made, it is the one that most people think of when they think of the words “Dracula movie.” Lugosi’s version of Count Dracula continues to influence the way we think of Dracula today.

2. House of Frankenstein (1944)

For the first time in movie history, we see the Wolfman, Dracula, and Frankenstein all in the same place at the same time. This would become a trend in horror movies, up to the present day. Look out for John Carradine as a particularly creepy and stylized Dracula. There’s also a mad scientist and a hunchback character thrown in for good measure, making this movie like a one stop shop for all things classic horror.

3. Dracula 2000 (2000)

Wes Craven produced this hyper update of the original Dracula novel for the new millenium. Christopher Plummer plays Van Helsing, a bright spot among some poor acting that makes the whole film worth a watch. It doesn’t hurt that Jeri Ryan sexes it up for most of the movie, and Gerard Butler as Dracula, the star of the show, turns in a chilling performance as well. Big chunks of the movie are laughable, but part of the appeal of Dracula movies is the mix of the laughably bad with the stunningly brilliant. There is plenty of both in this update.

I have opinions and ideas about the horror genre, and this is where I share those thoughts.