Board Game Review: Horrified

HORRIFIED

HORRIFIED is from Ravensberger games, and designed by Prospero Hall, the game design team behind Ramen Fury, Villainous, Jaws and the Funkoverse games (amongst others), and in this game, the players play a variety of heroes, who are helping defend a village against the threat of a collective of monsters from the Universal Monster movies (Dracula, the Wolfman, the Monster of Frankenstein, the Bride of Frankenstein, the Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon and the Invisible Man).

The objective of the game is to beat the monsters by achieving a variety of objectives before they terrorise the town too much, shown by the ‘Terror track’, which goes up every time time they kill a hero or villager, or if you run out of cards in the ‘monster deck’.

The game is set up by the players selecting their hero, each who have a variety of special abilities, and what monsters they wish to fight. The instructions suggest that in the first game you play you should use the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Dracula. Also each player gets a ‘perk’ card which allows them a little extra something special, like a movement bonus’ once per game. Also, 12 item tokens have to be distributed to their respective locations.

Each turns sees one player performing how many actions they can do, as declared on their player card, which can include move, collect items, guide villager, deliver items to various locations (which will provide you the tools to defeat a monster),defeat monster, exchange items with another player or your special ability.

After the player has taken their turn, a monster card is revealed from the monster pack and indicates various threatening things the monsters can do. Basically, most things they do, if not deflected by a player, causes the terror track to go up by one, which you don’t want to happen. The monster cards also increase the amount of items on the board, and can also reveal the location of a villager, who may be killed by the monster if you don’t save them by taking them to their safe house…. yep, yet ANOTHER mission that if you fail will cause the terror track to increase!

Each of the monsters has different condition to defeat them:

Dracula – smash his 4 coffins hidden throughout the board

Creature from the Black Lagoon – send a boat to the lagoon by delivering items to the camp

Invisible Man – deliver clue items to the Precinct

The Frankensteins – stop them from meeting until they have both learned to be ‘human’ by giving them items as gifts

Wolfman – find a cure by delivering items to the laboratory

Mummy – solve the puzzle by delivering items to the museum

After you have solved these quests, the simple thing to do next is to kill the monsters, usually by landing on their space with a particular amount of items tokens, or in the case of the Frankensteins, getting them to meet so they can fall in LOOOOOOVVVVEEEE!

This is a co-operative game, but for those who love to play buy don’t get an opportunity too often to get together with other gamers, this also has a solo mode. The miniatures for the monsters are also pretty cool and are dying for a lick of paint.

It would be remiss of me to not point out the awesome art work, reminiscent of the great artwork from Basil Gogos, the artist behind the covers of the legendary horror movie magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland.

This game is a great alternative to board game legend Pandemic from Matthew Leacock and plays very similarly but with the far less scary threat of the Universal Monsters rather than, in a Covid-19 world, a killer virus. It’s also a fair bit easier, though I must say my gaming group smashed a two-monster game, but got smashed by the three-monster game. Actually, people who like Pandemic will either think this is a great alternative or far too derivative. We love Pandemic at my place and having a Universal Monster alternative for the horror aspect of it, is pretty cool.

Score: ****

The Brides of Dracula (1960) Review

One from the to watch pile…
Brides of Dracula (1960)

The Australian bluray release of The Brides of Dracula


Film: I have always been a champion of Hammer Horror films. I prefer them over the Universal ones just because in general I find them more compelling; still melodramatic, but more compelling.

This film, The Brides of Dracula, stands out in amongst Hammer’s Dracula films for the sole reason that it doesn’t feature Dracula in it at all. Sure there is a vampire with a bevy of evil she-demons at his hand, but no actual Count Dracula! 

Don’t worry though, Van Helsing still turns up!

The Brides of Dracula: Peter Cushing as Van Helsing


Schoolteacher Marianne Danielle (Yvonne Monlaur) has found herself abandoned by her horseman in a small town whilst on her way to her new post at a school for young ladies. Baroness Meinster (Martita Hunt) offers to take her in overnight seeing as how the local boarding house has no rooms available.

The problem with the Baroness’ manor though is that she has her son, Baron Meinster (David Peel) chained up in a room. Marianne takes pity on his interment and steals a key so that he may be freed, but then she finds the horrible truth about the baron… he is a vampire!

She runs away from the castle, only to be luckily found by a certain Dr Van Helsing (Peter Cushing), who is continuing his journey across Europe, executing the undead wherever he finds them.

Even though the slick of this Bluray claims that this film has ‘some of the best acting, photography and period detail of the Hammer Dracula series’, I honestly don’t see it. I found it to be staged, melodramatic and overwrought and difficult to remain engaged with it.

The whole process of the story seems to take far to long to sell to the viewer, and unfortunately, I didn’t find Peel’s vampire to be very threatening at all. In actual fact, he appears more like Rocky from The Rocky Horror Picture Show than a threatening undead figure.

The Brides of Dracula: David Peel as Baron Meinster


The film has several examples of Hammer glamour in it though. Yvonne Monlaur is exquisitely beautiful, and is juxtaposed nicely by Andree Melly’s unusual fairy-ish looks.

One weird thing I notice about this film is the soundtrack’ I almost get a Friday the 13th vibe off it. It’s possibly just me, but I just hear elements of the score in there.

All in all it’s not an awful film, it’s just somewhat of a trial to get through.

Score: **


Format: This film was reviewed on the Australian region B bluray release which runs for approximately 85 minutes. The 16×9 image is bright but grainy (with an odd artefact) to the point of distraction. The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is pretty good though.

Score: **

Extras: Only a trailer for the film.

Score: *

WISIA: The film is extraordinarily slow and the 85 minutes it runs for feels like 3 days, and I won’t have 3 days to waste ever again.

The Brides of Dracula: Yvonne Monlaur as Marianne