The Top 5 Pandemic Horror Flicks You Need to Watch Right Now

The Top 5 Pandemic Horror Flicks You Need to Watch Right Now

Horrorific content by BBrinker on May 14th, 2020 | Horror Lists |

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically reshaped life in the United States and across the world. Many people are sitting at home, sometimes under orders from the government, sometimes in an effort to self-isolate.

For better or worse, a lot of us have some spare time on our hands and cabin fever may be spreading even more quickly than the coronavirus. (Of course, boredom doesn’t compare to the horrors of the on-going pandemic.)

While a pandemic of this scale hasn’t been seen for more than a century —since the 1918 Spanish Influenza—killer diseases have long been popular in the horror genre. That’s why we put together a list of five of the best pandemic and virus horror movies of all time, plus several honorable mention flicks.

If you’re looking for some scares and chills that strike close to home given everything that’s going on, give these pandemic/outbreak movies a watch.

The Girl with All the Gifts: Half Zombies Double the Scare?

Let’s give props to the creative minds behind the “Girl with All the Gifts” for coming up with unique angles. There have been tons of zombie films over the past decade and you might think that every stone has been turned. But in this film, zombie children are quite normal so long as they’re not exposed to the temptation of human flesh.

Half-humans half-zombies, these so-called hungries are more compelling than your typical brain eaters. And this movie is a particularly great pandemic-watch because it deals with society in the post-apocalypse.


Is Contagion a horror movie? It’s debatable. There are no jump scares, no monsters, and minimal action. Contagion follows a small number of doctors and researchers as they try to bring a global viral outbreak under control.

There is something haunting about a mysterious disease that’s killing people, silently but with brutal force. As mass graves are dug, society all but comes apart. What Contagion lacks in scares it makes up for with a portrayal of society that hits close to home amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The 1990’s flick “Outbreak”, starring Dustin Hoffman, is also a great disease flick, although focuses more on action than horror, similar to Carriers.

Train to Busan: A Runaway Zombie Success

South Korea’s filmmaking industry has received a lot of accolades in recent years. It should come as no surprise that the industry has put together one of the best zombie films of all time. In “Train to Busan”, an overworked dad, Seok-woo, is trying to do right by his daughter, Su-an, who wants to spend her birthday with her mom.

Mom is in the city of Busan at the Southern tip of Korea. So Seok-woo and Su-an board a train bound for mom. Yet unbeknown to the passengers, a zombie apocalypse is breaking out. Of course, one of the zombies makes its way onto the train, and the infection spreads.

I was a bit skeptical that the confined space of a train would make for a good zombie flick, but director Yeon Sang-ho has put together a chilling zombie film.

It Comes At Night

It Comes At Night starts with a literal bang but settles into a haunting, evenly paced horror film that plays on our fears and paranoias. Light is often in short supply, and the visual landscapes, which center primarily around a house and the surrounding woods, can be very chilling.

What really makes this film so captivating, and terrifying, is how believable the characters and their reactions often are. More so than fear, paranoia dominates this flick. And amid a global pandemic, aren’t we all a bit paranoid?

28 Days Later

Arguably the best “zombie” film of all time, 28 Days Later has been well-received by audiences and critics alike. Rather than mindless undead putzing around, people are infected with the rage virus and driven violently insane. The rather low-tech cameras and tight budget give this film a raw, realistic feel. The collapse of society is complete but believable, and the actors put in amazing performances.

28 Days Later doesn’t break a lot of new ground. And yet the execution is done so well, and the scares are so genuine, that this flick still offers a breath of fresh air among the hordes of zombie films.

Honorable Pandemic Movie Mentions

These movies are also worth a watch. Make sure you check ‘em out!

World War Z: A bit controversial of a movie, but the first half does an excellent job of showing how society would react to a zombie outbreak. The second half of the movie is… odd?

Rec (Spanish version): Yet another zombie film, but one of the best in the genre. If you like zombies and haven’t seen this movie, definitely give it a watch.

Dawn of the Dead (2004): Remakes rarely live up to the original. Dawn of the Dead (2004) is a solid zombie film and helped kick off the flurry of zombie TV shows and films that followed.

If you’re in the mood for some laughs, make sure you check out the parody “Shaun of the Dead.”

The Shining: Okay, the Shining isn’t about a disease. But it is about isolation, and we’re all feeling isolated right now.

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