Ten Viral Outbreak Movies to Make You Want to Quarantine Yourself

Coronavirus. It’s everywhere. Well not really, but it is ALL anyone is really talking about these days. So if we are ahead of the curve with our branding and the world really does turn into a wasteland we might as well give you some movies to watch before it all goes downhill.

I didn’t want to just pick zombie movies (which was kind of hard to do) and really there are more than ten here if you count originals and remakes, but either way you get the gist.

So instead of being part of the solution, we’re just gonna add to the problem.

Here are Ten Viral Outbreak Movies to Make You Want to Quarantine Yourself.

10. It Comes at Night (2017)

Not necessarily my favorite movie, but the concept seemed like a good one and I like Joel Edgerton so I figured I’d include it. After a highly contagious outbreak consumes the planet a family secludes themselves deep in the woods. Of course things don’t go well for them while they are out there. A stranger tries to break in to their home and things get worse for them. Overall I really wanted to love this movie, and it does have some great elements and moments to it. But ultimately it just fell flat for me.

9. Pontypool (2008)

This one I actually haven’t seen yet, but it’s on my list. So I may just have to bump it up right quick. In the small town of Pontypool, Ontario, shock jock Grant Mazzy is accosted by a nonsensical woman who repeats the word “blood” several times before staggering away. A helicopter reporter calls in with a report about a riot that has resulted in numerous deaths when his transmission is unexpectedly cut off. calls back and says he has taken refuge in a grain silo. A short time later he calls back in and describes the rioters as trying to eat one another or even themselves. When one of the rioters attacks the silo, Ken’s call is interrupted by an audio transmission in French. Grant’s technical assistant, Laurel-Ann attempts to translate the transmission which instructs people to remain indoors, not to use terms of endearment, rhetorical discourse, or the English language and not to translate the message. A Quarantine of the town ensues leaving them trapped in the radio station.

8. Planet Terror (2007)

Released theatrically as part of a double feature with Quentin Tarantino‘s Death Proof under the title Grindhouse, Robert Rodriguez‘s exploitation-like film follows a group of people attempting to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud with a military unit. It’s been A LONG time since I’ve seen this one, but I remember it being just bat-shit insane with a star studded cast. I should probbaly go back and watch both of the films one of these days.

7. Doomsday (2008)

Neil Marshall‘s first two films Dog Soldiers and The Decent pave the way for him to make this film. Going in with a budget three times the size of those previous films, unfortunately it opened to lackluster reviews and had a poor box office showing. In 2008, the “Reaper Virus”, has infected the country of Scotland. Unable to contain the outbreak or cure the infected, the British government builds a massive 30-foot wall that isolates Scotland from the rest of Great Britain. 27 years later, falling into a dystopian state, the film is reminiscent of the Mad Max and other 80s films of the like. Rhona Mitra stars as the female take on Snake Plissken, Bob Hoskins emulates his “bulldog” role from The Long Good Friday (which I keep meaning to watch) and Malcolm McDowell as a scientist in an abandoned castle and thinks of himself as King Lear.

6. Carriers (2009)

Before Chris Pine became Captain James T. Kirk and a household name, he starred in this post-apocalyptic horror flick. Filmed in 2006, it received a limited release in the United States after his break out performance in Star Trek. A virus has spread worldwide, killing most of the population. Two brothers, Brian and Danny, along with Brian’s girlfriend Bobby and Danny’s school friend Kate, head to Turtle Beach in the southwestern United States where they believe they can wait for the viral pandemic to die out and eventually start a new life. To help them survive, they follow a set of rules created by Brian. Similar to 28 Days Later the group runs into a group of survivalists who want to keep the girls to help repopulate.

5. The Crazies (1973 & 2010)

I’ll come right off the bat here, I didn’t like George Romero‘s movie. I’m just not a big fan of his. Night of the Living Dead is all I can really muster to watch. But that being said, his low budget approach to movies really makes them something worth watching, even just once. The original was a box office failure, but has since become a cult hit. When I heard they were remaking the film I thought it was gonna be a good one for some updating. The premise is similar in both films. The military accidentally releases a virus that turns those infected into violent killers. They then arrive to quarantine the town but things always go wrong. The remake was a modest box office success and has Timothy Olyphant in it which is always a plus.

4. Cabin Fever (2002)

And here on the other hand … fuck this remake, it was unnecessary to even make it. Eli Roth‘s directorial debut stands as one of his best movies to date. It’s got the right mix of horror and comedy. The film has the good old set up of a bunch of kids partying in a cabin in the woods. What could go wrong, right? My favorite thing about this is how everything unravels. And the ending has one of the most bizarre interactions I’ve seen in a long time.

3. 12 Monkeys (1995)

Part time travel, part viral outbreak and part murder mystery, this Terry Gilliam film remains one of his best flicks. In 1996 a group known as the Army of the Twelve Monkeys is believed to have released a deadly virus that wipes out almost all of humanity, forcing survivors to live underground. In 2035, James Cole (Bruce Willis) is a prisoner living in a subterranean compound beneath the ruins of Philadelphia, is selected to be trained and sent back in time to find the original virus, to help develop a cure. Meanwhile, Cole is troubled by recurring dreams involving a foot chase and shooting at an airport.

2. [REC] (2007) & Quarantine (2008)

Honestly both of these movies are really good to me. It was probably unnecessary for the remake to be made so quickly after the original, but you know Hollywood and their unoriginal ideas. Hands down one of the best found footage horror movies out there. A reporter and her cameraman are covering the night shift in one of the local fire stations for a documentary television series, when the firehouse receives a call about an old woman trapped in her apartment and screaming. The TV crew follows the firemen to the building and while they are there all hell breaks loose. The sequels to both films aren’t as good as the original [REC], but like I said Quarantine is a pretty good remake.

1. Contagion (2010)

Hands down the most realistic of ALL the films on this list, Steven Soderbergh‘s all star cast film intertwines multiple stories and was inspired by 2003’s SARS and 2009’s flu pandemics. This film is extremely timely for what’s going on right now, even if it is over dramatized. The spreading of a disease from Hong Kong and it’s unknown origins hits similar beats to today’s news reports. The ending of the film hold’s such a great reveal and shows how simple something like this can spread and get out of hand quickly.

What are some of you favorite movies about viral outbreaks?

Author: K. Alvarez

A king without a throne.