The recent COVID-19 outbreak is keeping most of us indoors, and lately, we’ve noticed a spike in virus movies hitting the most popular list among several streaming services. We decided what better way to spend spring break than to try out some of the movies available for streaming and report back with a list of our favorites.
Below you’ll find a list of pandemic movies ranging from everyday virus outbreaks, zombie movies to isolation films, such as The Shining. So, without further ado, here are our top picks of must-watch films while you’re stuck indoors. Oh, and on a more serious note, stay safe, stay home and be healthy. Until next time.
If you’re not tired of the news cycle covering the outbreak, these virus movies can scratch your itch of seeing what it would be like if the infection got out of hand:
It’s possible that most of you have already seen it, judging by its enormous resurgence in popularity for rental streaming. But this film that’s led by an all-star cast and shares the story of a virus run amok. It seems eerily predictive for today, where a new virus breaks out around the world leaving W.H.O. and local administrations scrambling for answers. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Director Terry Gilliam provides a bleak vision of the future with a new virus wiping out most of the earth’s population in the nineties. Bruce Willis is the pawn sent from the future to try and find a source but is derailed by a mental patient played by a scene-stealing Brad Pitt. Available on Showtime and Amazon Prime.
Granted this one is actually an FX Productions TV show, but it holds your attention for its whole course while offering spectacular visuals. Written and produced by Guillermo del Toro, this unique series brings a new type of virus that turns humans into a combination of vampires and zombies. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
This film may have been overlooked until the recent virus, where it leaped in popularity on Netflix, but it’s a top-rate thriller and no surprise that it is gaining attention. An African disease was stopped from spreading by the US Army in the ’60s. But when it re-emerges thirty years later, it just might mutate into a form that can’t be cured. Available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.
We’ve all fantasized about what we would do if a real zombie apocalypse came down upon us. Now that we’re temporarily quarantined, live out those fantasy with these films:
Night of the Living Dead
This classic low budget black and white flick marks the unofficial beginning of zombies in movies and still holds up all these years later. It spawned six sequels and a remake, but this original keeps the plot simple. The heroes barricading themselves into a house may hit a little close to home, but don’t take it too seriously. Available on Amazon Prime, Roku channel, tubi, and Vudu.
28 Days Later
A game-changer in the zombie sub-genre, this release altered the traditionally slow-moving zombie formula with a fast running type, upping the stakes of the outbreak. Cillian Murphy is stupendous in the lead role that made him famous, and Danny Boyle’s fast-paced direction makes this a non-stop thrill. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Train to Busan
From South Korea, this zombie movie takes a similar approach to 28 Days Later by utilizing quick zombies for greater tension. But the real drama is among the passengers of a train, and whether or not they can work together to overcome the crisis. Available on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and tubi.
Shaun of the Dead
A loving tribute to all zombie movies before it, Director Edgar Wright brings his signature comedic wit and style to what is otherwise traditionally a subgenre of horror. Simon Pegg is hilarious as the titular lead, a bumbling store clerk who bands together with his slacker friends to fend off a zombie uprising. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Some of us may be quarantined with no one for the company, other than our make-believe friends. With that in mind, here are some great stories told from the perspective of lonely individuals:
Everybody now knows the meme of Tom Hanks going so crazy from the loneliness that he resorts to talking to a volleyball. But Cast Away is entertaining because we are in Hanks’ shoes the whole way, hoping he can escape from his island prison and get back to the woman he loves. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Technically consisting of only one location and two principal cast members, Moon might sound like a monotonous experience to watch. Yet it’s anchored by a fantastic performance from Sam Rockwell and has an out of the box story full of themes anybody can relate to. Available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crackle.
Taking a cheesy 50’s monster movie and remaking it might not sound like a promising pitch. But Director John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing turns out to be one of the best of its kind, combining an alien invasion, chilly environment, and paranoia of a remote location. Available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.
Directed by the master Stanley Kubrick, this film takes a family of three and the audience on a slow descent into madness as they manage a ski resort hotel during the winter months of inaccessibility to the outside world. Is the hotel haunted, or are the father’s inner demons coming out? Available on Amazon Prime.