Classic Horror Oracle Review: Card Deck Celebrates Old & New Scary Movies

Chronicle Books is putting out a 50-card oracle card deck called Classic Horror Oracle, which will be available starting September 12 for $19.95.

Chronicle Books is putting out a 50-card oracle card deck called Classic Horror Oracle, which will be available starting September 12 for $19.95.

These cards feature beautiful artwork from Ricardo Diseño, and each depicts a classic horror movie. It ranges from genre classics like Nosferatu and Night of the Living Dead to more recent standouts, such as Get Out and Hereditary. It’s not only a fun oracle deck, but a great list of horror movies any fan should check out or revisit.

The art on each of the 50 cards is what makes this such a great collector’s item. Diseño is an experienced artist and poster designer that has done work for The Criterion Collection and The New York Times, and really outdid himself with these cards. What’s really special is how well he captures what makes each horror film so special. By recreating iconic imagery and merging it with his own style, he’s able to get the vibe of the movie instilled in a single piece. It’s quite an accomplishment, and you can tell that Diseño has a deep respect and admiration for horror and its history.

Included within the package is a 150-page guidebook, which was written by Steve Mockus and is just as important. Fully in color, the guidebook features the same artwork. It’s accompanied by descriptions of what movie each card is based on, and explains what each card signifies in terms of an oracle reading. Mockus does a great job of making the card’s theme match the movie (such as “Midnight” for Gremlins and “Curse” for Ringu).

This goes for the actual readings as well, such as picking the upright They Live card to mean, “Things are not as they seem. Question authority.” It’s quite fun going through all the cards, and I even got some horror movie recommendations from the list as I was familiar with most but not all of the subjects.

The guidebook also explains how to use the oracle cards and offers some configurations that you can arrange the cards in for readings. These range from the rather simple — doing a single card draw to answer a question — to the more advanced, such as doing a past, present, and future reading using three cards or putting them in a pentagram or a “harvest man” arrangement. There’s a good amount of variation in how you can use them, and it’s easy to learn, no matter your familiarity level (I had none prior to this set).

Classic Horror Oracle Review: The Final Verdict

Not necessarily as dark or complex as tarot cards, the Classic Horror Oracle card deck is a great addition to any horror fan’s collection. The artwork by Diseño is vivid, and wonderfully sums up what makes the films so iconic. Meanwhile, Mockus has done a great job assigning meaning to each film that ties in with their themes and characters. It all comes together to make a really nice set that is worth checking out.


Disclosure: ComingSoon was sent a copy by Chronicle Books for our Classic Horror Oracle review.