Movies about viruses: top 10 best thrillers about epidemics

The planet is engulfed by the novel coronavirus COVID-19. His name is on everyone’s lips. No news release is complete without the sad news of its distribution. He has locked up thousands of people who are forced to stay at home for weeks. Why not use this chance to watch a movie whose topic is close to everyone now without exception. Films about viruses, epidemics and pandemics, artistically “embellished” the consequences, may bring some measure of peace to our lives, because in reality, not everything is so bad.

I Am Legend (2007)

Virus movies should rightfully be led by this legendary zombie action starring Will Smith. The hero of the film lives in an abandoned … no, not a small town. In abandoned New York! He is the only survivor in the city. Every day he patrols the streets, overgrown with green vegetation and lianas. Repels prey from wild animals. And, in order not to completely lose the communication skill, he talks and even flirts with mannequins.

I'm a legend

Yes, during the day his life is quite diverse. But he should not linger on the street after sunset. After all, the night is the time of others. As soon as the sun sets, the streets of the city are filled with terrible creatures – victims of the virus that has swept the planet.

On a note! in 2008, the creation of a sequel or prequel to I Am Legend was actively discussed. However, the director of the film, Francis Lawrence, denied the rumors.

Train to Busan (2016)

From the secret laboratories of Seoul, a terrible uncontrolled virus breaks free. It does not cause fever or difficulty breathing. No, he turns people into bloodthirsty hungry zombies in just minutes.

In the center of the story is the girl Su-an and her father, who are heading to the city of Busan. One of the infected accidentally gets on the train. After that, the composition turns into a closed space, teeming with bloodthirsty creatures. In this environment, father and daughter are trying to survive.

movies about viruses

This Asian horror movie is different from the standard zombie apocalypse movies. After all, the main thing in it is not bloody scenes and special effects, not attempts to scare the viewer with the realism of what is happening on the screen. The film has a deep meaning. About how in some people, even before the penetration of a deadly infection into their body, a person dies.

On a note! Train to Busan is South Korea’s highest-grossing film of 2016.

Bearers (2009)

A terrible virus, transmitted by airborne droplets and causing people to die in agony, covers the Earth. Four friends, two brothers and their girlfriends, are saved from the inevitable infection only by constantly moving by car. They have their own rules of survival, following which they try to save their lives.


The car rushes along an endless road, in front and behind which only certain death. Meetings and adventures along the way become crucial for the four. How will friends behave when faced with a real threat? It is the philosophical fabrications and psychological interaction of people that carry the central meaning of this film.

Blindness (2008)

The main symptom and consequence of a certain virus is … blindness. At one point, people, under the influence of an unknown infection, suddenly massively begin to lose their sight. Only one woman manages to somehow avoid blindness. Staying sighted, she is forced to pretend to be blind in order to be near her husband. Infected blind people are placed in quarantine (familiar, huh?).

movies about viruses

And here the most interesting begins. Society, as always in such a situation, singles out the so-called top – the strongest and most arrogant of its representatives. It is these self-proclaimed “kings” who begin to steer, enrich themselves and rule. One of their assigned functions is the distribution of food. To eat, people are ready to part with the most expensive things and even … with their women.

Will the heroine be able to influence the situation, being in fact the only one able to see? How many people will remain people on the threshold of terrible inevitable events? This film about viruses does not provide specific answers to many questions. It makes you think and try to find your own.

Contagion (2011)

American girl Beth Emhoff returns to her homeland after a trip to Hong Kong. Suddenly she becomes ill, and she suddenly dies from an unknown virus. After her, her son also dies. The husband turned out to be the happy owner of immunity to infection. After a certain number of such cases, a global epidemic is declared. The disease begins to spread rapidly, mowing human lives left and right.


Against the backdrop of these events, several storylines from the lives of ordinary people are shown. Some show their true colors. For example, a journalist who manages to benefit for himself by spreading false information about the available medicine. And some even in a difficult situation manage not to lose humanity. For example, a virologist who donates his vaccine to the son of a janitor.

On a note! The advertising campaign for this film was truly grandiose. Giant petri dishes were installed in the window of a large shopping center. The fungus and bacteria growing in them over the course of several days formed the title of the film.

Convulsions (1975)

It is difficult to understand what the men and women of 1975 did not please the mad scientist. However, in order to add spice to the boring, in his opinion, life of his contemporaries, he brings out a parasitic worm. Infiltrating the human body, it dulls the mind and intellect and brings animal instincts to the fore.

Having tested this instance on his young mistress, the professor realizes what a mistake he made. In a fit of remorse, he kills the girl, floods her insides with acid. And, with a sense of duty done to humanity, he commits suicide.


However, despite the measures taken by the scientist, parasites still find a way out. Residents of Starliner, a modern residential complex, are turning into a kind of zombie. Only if the normal living dead crave food, then these crave … sex. It doesn’t matter who. It is this instinct that leads to the fact that a well-publicized paradise turns into a living hell filled with sex maniacs.

Last Love on Earth (2011)

If there was a competition for the most unusual symptoms of a viral infection, this film would take the grand prix. The onset of the disease is not characterized by a common cold or cough. No. Infected people begin to lose their sense of smell. Well, it’s okay, the viewer thinks. It is quite possible to live without it. However, after some time, the sense of smell is followed by the taste.

films about viruses

Deprived of the opportunity to enjoy delicious food, people learn to live in a new way. Against the backdrop of these events, the story of the relationship between casual lovers Susan and Michael unfolds. Both of them are trying to figure out what is happening, to figure out how the virus is transmitted and to find ways to cure.

Hearing loss is becoming a global catastrophe. People understand that soon, one by one, all feelings will leave them. What will their life be like then? What to do when vision loss comes? Is another important feeling, love, under threat?

On a note! Films about viruses are often flavored with scenes of violence that are inevitable in the process of survival. And this picture is replete with frank erotic scenes, which Eva Green and Ewan McGregor did excellently. This couple looks very harmonious on the screen, and this deserved the praise of critics.


Epidemic (1995)

Films with the name “Epidemic” – a great many. The 1995 thriller deserves special attention. In addition to the intriguing plot, the picture boasts an excellent game of the stellar cast – Hoffman, Freeman, Spacey.

A deadly virus appears in the jungles of Zaire. In order to prevent its spread, the American (what else) military drop not medicines on the affected village, but … bombs. But this is only a saying, the tale goes on.


After 30 years, the bravely destroyed virus reappears. People are dying in droves. The task of the military and doctors is to find the zero primary carrier. After all, only from his blood can you make a serum that can neutralize the infection. Everything would be fine, but only the zero carrier is … the capuchin monkey. And where to look for it is unknown.

Reportage (2007)

Who would have thought that a nightly report about the everyday life of the Barcelona fire brigade would turn into such fear and horror … Firefighters, along with TV reporters, go to another call. They have to figure out the reason for the inhuman screams coming from one of the apartments.

Having opened the room, the rescuers find an elderly woman in a negligee there. The lady is behaving inappropriately:

  • moves strangely and unnaturally;
  • pounces on one of the firefighters;
  • bites off a piece of his neck.


With this, the spread of an unknown virus begins, turning people into insatiable, bloodthirsty monsters. The city authorities, trying to prevent an epidemic, decide to barricade a dangerous house. The included camera of TV journalists will show all the horror that is happening behind its walls.

On a note! In 2008, an American remake of the Spanish zombie horror film Quarantine was released. The picture is also filmed as a documentary (films about viruses are often shot in this way), which no doubt adds a creepy realism to everything that happens.

Phenomenon (2008)

Cities in the northeast of America are covered by a new unknown virus. People commit mass suicide. Moreover, the methods for this are chosen by the most unbanal:

  • a girl pierces her carotid artery with a long hairpin;
  • the driver smashes the car into smithereens against a tree;
  • builders rush down from scaffolding;
  • a man mowing a lawn lies down under a working lawn mower;
  • the guy at the zoo feeds himself to the lions.


Elliot Moore, the protagonist of the film, is trying to save his family and friends from the epidemic. They leave the city in a hurry, hoping that they have more chances to survive away from the metropolis.

Movies about viruses will help you forget about real epidemics for a while and immerse yourself in a fictional world. Fictional, and therefore safe. After all, you can look at them from the side, wrapped in a warm blanket and wearing a mask. Just in case.

Add a comment