With the Coronavirus outbreak happening at this moment, a little part in us is curious about potential ‘what if’-situations. This is proven by the recent popularity of Contagion (2011) in the Apple iTunes movie store. Let’s have a look at some other examples of popular media like movies, video games and even board games which use a virus outbreak as their main theme. (You won’t find any extraterrestrial viruses or zombiepocalypse movies in here by the way.)
So Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion (2011) is pretty much what the fuzz is all about today and with a reason. During the movie we follow Gwyneth Paltrow’s character during a business trip in China, getting infected by a mysterious flu which soon takes over the world. This is somewhat exactly what is happening right now. Contagion is a fantastic motion picture that is, despite its age, closer to reality than ever before with the Coronavirus hitting us now.
Plague Inc (Evolved)
Plague Inc is a strategic video game for iOS and Android platforms in which you try to create a virus and take over the world by killing all humans on the planet. How evil! The game shows you a world map and it’s up to you what kind of virus you will create and how it will take over the world. Do you make an aggresive one which kills humans pretty quickly; a Coronavirus look-a-like or do you want to maximise the infected people. It’s all up to you. The game also got a console version with the like of ‘Evolved’ for PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch. This is a pretty nice timekiller, so go get it!
Not only Contagion endured a spike in popularity, but Outbreak (1995) was rented a lot to during the Corona virus craze. Wolfgang Petersen’s flick features Dustin Hoffman, René Russo and Morgan Freeman and is quite an interesting nice one to watch. The film tells the story of an epidemic spreading in the United States of America because of an infected monkey. It’s a nice take on the disaster movie genre and pretty entertaining to watch, even now.
The Andromeda Strain (1971)
Ok, I lied a little. We do have some extra terrestrial fun here. And yes, we got a classic over here. At least in terms of age. Based on the famous Michael Crichton novel, this movie tells the story about a virus from out of space which kills the population the small village Piedmont, New Mexico quite rapidly. This is a classic that didn’t really stood the test of time. However, there is even a ‘new’ miniseries remake made by the A&E Network which is more accessible to watch.
Pandemic board game (2008)
I got a board game here for ya! Just like Plaque Inc, this game is simulating the outbreak of a worldwide virus like the Coronavirus that happening right now. But in this one you work together with two up to four players to stop spreading the diseases. The game is widely popular and in the meantime the board game has a lot of spinoffs and expansions to choose from. So yeah, this Corona virus explosion is a good excuse to gather your friends and have some fun together. Pandemic has been adapted into a videogame for Xbox, PC, PS4, Android and iOS as well.
This recent Indian entry in the virus outbreak movie genre is pretty great! To be honest, you have to be able to look past the stereotypic Indian cinema conventions. But when you do, there is a great little hidden gem over here. Virus is situated in the city of Kozhikode, India and follows a few citizens in during the epidemic. It might be quite a problem to track this one down. But hey, you probably know your ways to pull this of, right?
Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak (2020)
Perfect timing! Netflix jumps the Coronavirus bandwagon by launching a documentary series about Pandemics and how to prevent them. Six episodes of a little less than an hour long will show you everything about historic pandemics and the chance it happening again in the future. And of course how to prevent it. The series is not that spectacular, though it’s very interesting to watch. Ready to become an expert on pandemics?
Watch it here!
Not the best example when it comes to movies based on spreading viruses among humans. Doomsday focuses more on the action part instead of the epidemic. The story goes about a contained virus epidemic in Scotland, which eventually years later finds is way to London and off course shits hits the fan. The movie is entertaining at its best, but given the fact not a lot of movies exploit this theme, it is worth a look.
This low-budget zombie movie is about the Canadian town of Pontypool and we follow radio dj Grant Mazzy who reports on a zombie virus outbreak. The movie shows the outbreak from the minimalist perspective from inside the radio station, which makes it a very typical way to follow a zombie outbreak. You hardly see them, but the tension makes you wanna watch more of this movie. Getting scared by Tv-reports and audio fragments has never been this fun.
Deranged (2012) and Flu (2013) (also known as Gamgi)
Two Korean movies to fill up the list. Deranged and Flu (Gamgi) are both medical thrillers about a virus outbreak on the Korean peninsula. Deranged is about a virus that takes over people’s brains and forces them to move into the water, while Flu is about a deadly airborne virus that is suddenly everywhere in the Korean air. Both movies are of similar ‘ok’ quality and definitely a must watch if you are a fan of the genre, though Korean movies aren’t for everyone.
Blindness is a movie about a virus that doesn’t kill you instantly, but it does make the infected blind. It starts with one person, who infects his doctor and before you know it part of the world population goes completely blind. The blind are being forced into concentration camps and before we know it, these camps end up in a complete chaos. However, the character of Julianne Moore is the only person immune for the virus and thus keeping her sight. Will she lead the others to redemption?
Smallpox 2002: Silent Weapon (2002)
Another very entertaining approach on the virus outbreak theme is the one used by Smallpox, a Tv-movie from 2002. In this one we see reports of a fictitious attack what could’ve been a worldwide smallpox outbreak. Pretty scary if you watch the Coronavirus news nowadays. A sloppy four part version of this movie can be found on Youtube, but it’s not the most ideal way to watch this one.