15 Quarantine Horror Films To Watch During LockdownBy RodneyHatfieldJr for Movies
COVID-19 is the one thing on the minds of most people around the world. Silently the virus is spreading every second we can possibly count, and the streets in the entire world are driven empty. During these devastating days of the global pandemic, we are left with no choice but to stay home and keep ourselves, as well as others, away and safe from the virus.
Horror movies remain the ideal place to explore our fears in the safety of our own homes. Hence it stands to reason that since we’re all stuck self-isolating in our own homes we should want to explore our abject terror of the COVID-19 virus driving ordinarily sane people to stockpile booze and toilet paper outside.
Conceivably it’s a fascination with the movies that predicted how a pandemic would play out. Maybe it’s watching characters you can relate to dealing with a brand-new disease in a story that’s ultimately fiction. It doesn't surprise anyone when we suddenly seem to have an appetite for infection and quarantine movies. If we can save the world by chilling on our couch, then why make it boring? These choices are in no form or fashion in any order, but they can be found on one or more the different popular streaming services. So let's look at a few movies we can watch while we wait for the end of the pandemic or the world itself.
The Shining 1980
The Shining represents a perfect example of what happens when you spend too much time with your family lol. It follows Jack, an aspiring writer who takes his wife and son to an isolated hotel in the Rockies after he's hired as the off-season caretaker. He thinks this will be a golden opportunity to get some writing done, but really, it's the ideal foundation for him to slip slowly into insanity.
12 Monkeys 1995
Terry Gilliam’s masterful tale about an unbalanced prisoner named Cole who is sent back in time to 1996 from 2035 (where the remnants of humanity live underground like moles). His mission is simple. Find and procure a sample of the virus that wiped out civilization so that future scientists can study it and discover a cure. Based on the French short film La Jetee, 12 Monkeys is about the way that human intellect and emotion can distort time and reality. The vision of a fading society buried underground by the spread of a pathogen is a chilling central metaphor.
Brad Pitt is worth watching this movie. His depiction of insanity is one of the best I have ever seen.
28 Days Later 2002
No, it isn’t a running zombie movie. The outbreak is caused by animals infected with a virus. These aren’t reanimated undead, but sick people. The virus is nicknamed Rage and sees the infected become insanely violent and extremely contagious. Our hero is Cillian,(unaware of the virus because of a stint in hospital in a coma) finds London a deserted wasteland just 28 days after the outbreak began.
The Andromeda Strain 1971
Based on Michael Crichton’s best selling novel, The Andromeda Strain chronicles the efforts of a team of four scientists trying to unlock the mystery of a fast-mutating extraterrestrial virus before it can spread throughout the world. The claustrophobic underground lab setting makes the film feel intimate even as the ramifications of the Andromeda organism are catastrophic and terrifying. The film’s focus on science makes it that much more realistic and frightening.
Most great comedians will inform you, the best jokes stem from sadness and tragedy. And if there's any way we're going to see our way to the other side of being isolated from the global pandemic, it's with laughter. Cue Slither. It is a movie about mutant slugs that transform a small town's residents into mindless zombies.
Chris Pine stars in this post-apocalyptic road movie which sees a virus wipe out much of the population. An as yet uninfected foursome head out to a small resort they believe is plague-free where they plan to wait out the pandemic. On the way they encounter desperate survivors and dangerous factions and ultimately turn on each other.
Not the most cheerful of the movies.
Steven Soderbergh’s realistic depiction of what might happen in the wake of a pandemic sees doctors struggling to identify the cause of a lethal virus and attempt to develop a vaccine while cities are under quarantine, false reports are causing panic buying, and supplies of the inoculation aren’t sufficient to treat everyone at risk(like watching the evening news). Featuring an all star cast. It’s a classy and slightly terrifying look outside our own window.
The Crazies 1973/2010
Here is a two for one special from legendary director George A. Romero. Romero made the original Crazies in 1973, focusing on a small town decimated by a biological weapon and finished off by the incompetence of the government that tries to contain the outbreak. True the film was crudely made but razor-sharp in its skewering of the bureaucratic and military mindset. The 2010 remake from director Breck Eisner (executive producer Romero) is less satirical, more polished and intense, and in the end, more effective. Both are worth a watch.
It Comes At Night 2017
Despite the misleading trailer, this is not a zombie movie. It is an infection film, of sorts. We see a couple and their teenage son self-isolating in the woods because of an unseen threat that’s taken over the world. But when a young couple and their child arrive seeking refuge, the family’s domestic stability is shaken. Metaphorical, intelligent, and scary, It Comes at Night is one bleak quarantine movie.
Less interested in global infrastructure and more in scaring the living crap out of audiences, this Spanish horror film sees a reporter and her cameraman go on a ridealong with an emergency services team who are called to an apartment building during a disturbance. Once they’re inside they realize some sort of infection is spreading rapidly and they’re suddenly quarantined inside. And things are about to get weirder. A very effective found footage movie with a nerve jangling ending. [REC] inspired three serviceable sequels, but none are as powerful as the original.
A classic infection story where we see medics battling with a virus brought to a Californian town by an African monkey. Outbreak is glossy and thrilling and much more self-contained making it less a pandemic movie but a race to contain the virus mixed with some high-octane conspiracy theory business.
Another monkey infection. Maybe we need to exterminate the primate population before it consumes us all.
Train To Busan 2016
This excellent Korean zombie movie represents a scary depiction of how fast a virus can spread. An absent father boards a train from Seoul to Busan with his daughter while one infected woman boards a different carriage. Soon every passenger in that carriage is infected and the commuters to try to keep the healthy cars separate from the infected. Emotional and thrilling with breakneck pacing.
You Rick and Morty fans wonder where the concept of Cronenberg comes from. David Cronenberg. This debut movie was also an infection film, but one with a twist. Set in a very 70s luxury apartment building, Shivers begins with a doctor murdering and cutting up a schoolgirl before taking his own life. It’s a extraordinary opener for an even stranger film, a satirical body horror that sees residents of the block become infected by a parasite which turns them into manic sex fiends. Yep you read that right. I said satirical geeeze.
It’s a descent into hell movie with an orgiastic climax(pun intended).
Naturally I had to put in an indie film. Sort of a zombie movie, sort of an infection movie, and sort of a quarantine film. This Canadian horror movie follows a radio DJ narrating an unfolding outbreak of something happening outside his studio. Stephen McHattie carries the movie, which is a clever way to simulate a pandemic and generate a feeling of panic on a very low budget.
The film takes place almost entirely in one room.
The Masque of the Red Death 1964
The seventh and most experimental of cult filmmaker Roger Corman’s Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, The Masque of the Red Death is a medieval tale set in an Italian village, where a sadistic prince (Master of horror, Vincent Price) lords over both the poor villagers outside his palace walls and the debauched guests at a ball within. As a plague sweeps the land, he orders the village burned to stop it, but that doesn’t prevent the Red Death from piercing the palace walls.
Masque may be a fantasy, but its ultimate message; disease and death do not distinguish between rich and poor.
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