There’s nothing like a good outbreak or contagious disease in a film to make you contemplate what you would do in the same situation. Threatening to wipe out the human race or infect everyone and turn them into zombies is not something that is far from possible (ok, maybe being infected and dying is more likely than turning into a race of zombies). However until we are all infected by a bio-weapon or a chimpanzee virus, I guess we will have to let our imaginations run wild with the films from my top 5.
If there was a pandemic of some sort, I assume events would occur similar to how they did in Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. Matt Damon plays Mitch whose wife Beth (Gwyneth Paltrow) and son Clark die from an unknown virus. The film depicts riots, looting, and a population doing anything they can to protect themselves and their loved ones from the deadly outbreak. While scientists played by Marion Cotillard and Lawrence Fishburne try to find the origin and a cure for the infection.
Even though it was not a big hit, Carriers is an interesting addition to the disease/pandemic genre. With a more realistic approach to the subject, the film does make you question what you would do if there was a deadly virus sweeping the globe. Four friends are travelling to south west coast America to stay away from the infected population. Piper Perabo (Coyote Ugly) plays Bobby and Chris Pine plays Brian, and they are a couple whose relationship is tested when Bobby gets infected.
There is nothing funny about a contagious disease infecting a group of young friends, but somehow director, Eli Roth (Hostel), is able to inject a twisted sense of humour into this 2002 horror film. A group of college students are infected one by one by an unknown virus that turns victims into a diseased bloody spewing mess.
Besides Will Smith’s convincing portrayal as Robert Neville who is the last man living in New York, I Am Legend is different from many films with a similar premise because the outbreak is caused by humans. Initially thought to be a cure for cancer, things swiftly go wrong when the population of New York becomes infected. The infected become strong vampire-like creatures who cannot be out in the daylight. Neville is a virologist who seems to be slowly losing his sanity while trying to find a cure.
Danny Boyle’s 2002 film takes place in a desolate London 28 days after a virus sweeps the country. A man called Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up from a coma to a viral outbreak that has turned a percentage of the population into vicious blood thirsty zombies. Boyle pays homage to the legacy of zombie films by George A Romero but these zombies are a lot scarier. They chase their victims down at an alarming pace as opposed to the ridiculously slow zombies in films like The Night of the Living Dead.