Look, we all have our own weird ways of dealing with our anxieties. I, avid consumer of true-crime media, fear an untimely end by a serial killer, for example. While others dealing with the same stress might avoid podcasts about a man breaking into someone’s home, living in their attic, and then attacking them with a knife. However, in current circumstances I’ve been strictly streaming Disney+ while my friend and family watch every pandemic movie available online. Here’s an abridged list of movies about contagion and quarantine you can stream right now (but maybe you want to check your attic first, hm?).
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Morgan Freeman, and Rene Russo as contagious disease experts racing against the clock, and military intervention to contain a highly contagious deadly virus. The most striking similarity to current events is the public insisting on gathering in crowds.
This pseudo-zombie flick plays hard with ‘you don’t know who has it’ trope, but it also stars baby Chris Pine and Piper Perabo. Everyone wearing face masks hits close to home, and the “rules” of the pandemic: don’t go near other people, assume everyone has it, disinfect every surface you touch. And it shows how hard it is to follow those simple rules.
The shots of abandoned streets hit close to home in this star-studded movie that predicted the coronavirus almost a decade ago. From the ease of transmission to how fast it spread around the world. It also portrays the way disinformation and conspiracy spreads just as fast as a virus.
The first disaster film out of South Korea, and it proves we all slept on Korean cinema for too long. An airborne flu virus tears across a quarantined city, causing panic and chaos. Again, the shots of abandoned cities will hit close to home. But it’s comforting in a “I guess it could be worse” way.
Just watch this movie. It’s pure 90s sci-fi-horror, and it’s a real palate cleanser from all the actual stuff to fear in the world today. Jamie Lee Curtis is flawless as a reluctant badass. The monsters are too corny to be genuinely scary. And there are enough jump scares to keep it interesting.
Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo star in this movie about a virus that causes blindness with no other symptoms. Moore’s immune and fakes the disease to stay with her husband in a quarantined camp. It too hits hard with the themes of how society devolves into chaos and panic. Which would feel tired, except after the armed protests held at state capitals last month, it’s just prescient.