1. Distribute a different, unique HORR-O card to each player. If there are more players than there are unique cards, dis-invite as many guests as needed to ensure there are no duplicate cards in play.
2. Familiarize yourself with the tropes and clichés on your personal HORR-O card so you can be ready to call them out when they appear in the movie.
3. Make sure everyone is comfortable, has snacks, and has used the bathroom (see "Line of Sight" below).
4. Pop in a horror movie (DVD, VHS, streaming, theater).
5. When a cliché occurs in the movie, mark off the corresponding space on your card. At least one player MUST call out the cliché when it appears on-screen in order for it to count.
6. There are two rounds of play in HORR-O:
Round 1 – The first player to mark off a straight line of HORR-O cliches in any direction (horizontal or diagonal) is declared the winner of the first round.
Round 2 – Game play continues through the end of the movie. The winner of the second round is the player with the most clichés marked on their card.
A majority of players must agree that the cliché is valid. If any player disagrees with a player’s HORR-O callout, they may challenge their call.
For example, if Player 1 calls out “Wolf/Coyote Howling” but Player 2 (who went to school for this sort of thing) claims that the sound is being made from an entirely different animal altogether, Player 2 would call out “Challenge!” The remaining players would then vote on whether or not the challenge was valid. Tie votes are a win for the player being challenged.
Players must be present or in direct line of sight to movie to mark a cliché off the card. Going to another room (bathroom) and listening for other players to call out on-screen cliches is not allowed. That’s just sad and a little creepy.
In the event that two clichés occur at the same time, both clichés must be called out, though not necessarily by the same player. For example, a character may open a closet door and be startled by a cat that was just sitting on the top shelf for no discernible reason, and back up into the villain. In this instance, both “Jump Scare: Cat” and “Character Backs Into Villain/Creature” could be called.
If a player calls out a cliché that does not exactly match what is on their card, the other players may allow it to count if the consensus is that the action was close enough to the on-screen trope.
For instance, if Player 1 calls out “Ground Fog!” when the fog/mist/smoke is actually inside a house/building, the other players can concede that inexplicable fog anywhere in the movie is in keeping with the intent of the cliché.
It is tradition for one or more players to sigh loudly and say, “close enough” or “fine, whatever” and aggressively chew Milk Duds in silent protest.