If the coronavirus already has you in isolation we recommend not streaming these virus-inspired movies.
We’re experts in all things binging and wouldn’t want their fear-inducing plots to cause harm. In fact, we suggest checking out Disney+ because it’s always cheerful.
However, if you gloss over warnings, feel free to turn off the news and get your binge-on. Just don’t blame us if you’re out panic buying supplies before the credits roll.
The Seventh Seal (1957) – Kanopy & Criterion
If you don’t mind grainy black and white movies, The Seventh Seal is a cinematic masterpiece. A soul searching story of a knight looking for meaning as the world crumbles to the infectious and deadly black death. Who would have thought facing off over a game of chess with the Grim Reaper could be so engrossing (Bill & Ted).
I Am Legend (2007) – Currently Unavailable
In our Binge Kill Chill podcast, we picked Ice Cube and Mark Wahlberg over Will Smith. So it’s semi-ironic that I Am Legend makes this list over The Omega Man (1971) and The Last Man on Earth (1964), despite being the worst movie of the three. If you’ve got the choice, watch The Last Man on Earth as it’s the best adaptation but we’ve gone for 2007’s zombie-vampire-virus as it’s the only one streaming right now.
The Andromeda Strain (1971) – Starz Play Amazon Channel
Based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same name, the movie focuses on scientists trying to stop a deadly extraterrestrial disease that originated on a meteor. So, if you’re a sci-fi geek (like us), The Andromeda Strain belongs on your watchlist.
Outbreak (1995) – Netflix
Dustin Hoffman plays a recently divorced U.S. Army doctor who is juggling bureaucracy, the spread of a deadly virus, and seeking patient zero, Marcel from Friends. In the usual Hollywood story arc, it’s a race against time but you know a happy ending is coming. Luckily for us, it’s an entertaining flick because it’s the only virus-inspired movie worth streaming on Netflix right now.
CHECK OUT: The ten Friends episodes we miss the most.
Twelve Monkeys (1995) – Showtime and Fubo
Time travel shouldn’t be part of this list, however, Twelve Monkeys is a must-watch for anyone in the midst of a pandemic. This Bruce Willis movie will either confuse and take your mind off the coronavirus or its complexity will inspire new hope. Either way, it’s a win-win scenario.
Cabin Fever (2002) – Showtime
If you’re wanting something less cerebral and more gruesome, Cabin Fever (2002) should be on your watchlist during your isolation period. Do not mix the 2002 version with the 2016 version. One is an enjoyable binge and the other is worst than catching a flesh-eating infection.
CHECK OUT: Steven Spielberg’s most iconic movies.
28 Days Later (2003) – Starz Amazon Channel
Director Danny Boyle knows how to make good movies and puts his serious expertise to use in 28 Days Later. In my humble opinion, the best zombie movie ever made. Granted, it’s more of the same but there’s real shock value seeing the always busy London empty and zombies sprinting as if in the Olympics. Bye-bye shufflers, hello true panic.
Contagion (2011) – HBO Max Go & Cinemax Amazon Channel
If you’re seriously scared right now do not watch Contagion. Taking away the character-driven elements, its portrayal of a pandemic is likely accurate and will cause genuine concern. Putting the character-driven elements back in, Contagion is a very good movie with Jude Law’s media-savvy news-spreader the stand-out.
World War Z (2013) – FXNow
We tried to keep the zombie movies to a minimum but we couldn’t skip World War Z. The book is fantastic and while the movie is nothing like the book, it gives us a big-budget Hollywood visualization. We get to see the origin and it’s gloriously over the top, complete with a zombie-tower.
Containment (2016) – Netflix
We know, Containment is a 13-episode single-season series and not a movie. As we were unable to find another Netflix virus-inspired movie streaming right now, we picked Containment. It has a human element that’s relatable, unlike most zombie movies. Plus it has a realistic take on living inside a quarantine. Showing how it can bring out the best and worst in us. If you’re staying in isolation, it’s worth binging on for 13-hours.