Are You a Glutton for Punishment? Here Are Some of the Top Plague Movies to Watch Under Quarantine

For most people, the last thing they want to watch is a movie about a plague. The majority of the United States is being directed to practice social distancing amidst the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. As we attempt to “flatten the curve” of infected peoples, however, some of us are finding ourselves with ample free time.

What is a better way to spend your time cooped up inside than watching a movie? Many people are finally getting the chance to filter down their Netflix and Hulu watch lists, whether they’re basking on the beaches of Maui or the apartments in New York City. But it’s unlikely that these individuals are putting plague flicks at the top of their list.

After all, watching a realistic plague movie is a sure-fire way to freak you out — right? Maybe not. For some newfound homebodies, watching a plague movie might be a cathartic experience. In fact, Netflix has recently reported a rise in the number of plague and pandemic movies being watched. And since plague movies are among some of the most popular options for horror movie fans, it only makes sense to list the best ones.

After all, self-care looks different for everyone. If a horror movie is what is going to make you feel most at ease, don’t let anyone tell you differently. So, put on your face mask, make a bowl of popcorn, and bask in some self-care with these plague movies.

Warm Bodies

This is the perfect plague movie for people who want to watch a light-hearted flick. Thanks to its Rom-Com roots, this hilarious — and wholesome — take on a zombie apocalypse will leave the viewer feeling warm and fuzzy by the end of the film. It follows the journey of a zombie (played by Nicholas Hoult) who saves a human from certain death, only to find out that he’s actually in love with her. But how can you love someone you kind of want to eat?

Featuring some comedic moments, a heartfelt message, and more than a couple of action shots, this film is a great movie for those who are craving a plague film but hate the thought of something truly dark.

Resident Evil

The Resident Evil franchise isn’t known for having the best horror movies; but with Milla Jovovich leading the way, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the great action scenes for all six films.

Based on the video game series by the same name, Milla’s character Alice is trying to stop a hoard of undead monsters from destroying the world. The lore goes much deeper but the twists and turns throughout the series will definitely have you on the edge of your seat. Since there are six of these films available to rent online, you can rest assured that you’ll have plenty of entertainment to fill your quarantine.


This classic 1995 film follows Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding Jr as they try to stem the spread of a highly contagious virus in a small California town. While not all the information presented in the film is accurate (along with every other plague movie on the market), Outbreak seems real enough to get your palms sweating. After all, the flu already causes 75 million missed days of work; any new virus that hits the scene is enough to make anyone nervous.

A recent report notes that Outbreak has become one of Netflix’s most-watched movies in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus.

Bird Box

If you’re in the mood for a more modern plague movie, Bird Box might be your saving grace. Starring Sandra Bullock as a single mother, it’s up to her to try to get her children to safety as a vision-spread plague threatens all of mankind.

The Netflix original begins with Bullock ordering her children to never remove their blindfolds — an intriguing start. Throughout the film, we gradually learn what started the plague through flashbacks and what happens if you fall victim: seemingly without warning, people will commit suicide en masse. It’s revealed that seeing a type of monster or “thing” is what drives people to commit these actions. As such, staying indoors and wearing blindfolds whenever venturing outside is a must.

Train to Busan

If you’re a fan of foreign films, this one is the perfect option for you. Riddled with action, the plot will have you on the edge of your seat before you’re left in a puddle of tears.

Known as one of the best zombie movies of all time, it focuses on a South Korean businessman and his daughter as they try to make it to Busan by train. Close quarters? Check. Horrible infection? Check. Unlikely friendships that start in order to survive? Check. This movie can be streamed on Netflix whenever you’re ready. Just be sure to watch it with a friend in case you get scared.

There are a million pandemic-inspired movies to watch, but these movies cover a lot of ground. If you’re inspired to take action because of these movies, however, think again. It’s important to note that while some pandemic movies seem to offer good information, they are meant to solely entertain. As such, you shouldn’t infect yourself with one virus to avoid another or try any other crazy cures. If you want more information on COVID-19, your best source of information is the CDC or local health officials.

The best thing you can do right now is to stay home and take care of yourself. This might include finding new hobbies or investing in your health if you’re over the age of 30. Regardless, we know the best way that you can enjoy your downtime: watching movies.