Outbreak Films to Stream on Amazon Prime That Aren’t ‘Contagion’

The 2011 Stephen Soderbergh film Contagion had an outbreak in popularity nearly a decade after its release. As a result of the real coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, movies on the subject have become sought after. While much of the rest of the world has returned to normal, the U.S. has a long way to go until it’s in the clear.

Hong Kong premiere of 'Contagion' in 2011
Hong Kong premiere of ‘Contagion’ in 2011 | Felix Wong/South China Morning Post via Getty Images

There are plenty of others left to take in for those who didn’t catch the first wave of pandemic fever, or who have already exhausted common choices like Contagion. Here are seven more outbreak films available to rent on Amazon Prime (or YouTube, or iTunes), and how they relate to the situation in 2020.

‘Blindness’ (2008)

When it comes to quarantining, actors like Mark Ruffalo have some experience. The MCU favorite starred in Blindness, a film about an epidemic of blindness that sweeps an unnamed nation. Julianne Moore and Danny Glover co-star in the somewhat controversial thriller.

The movie relates to the present not in the way in which it was handled (a centralized quarantine), but in how the government eventually responded by refusing aid and, eventually, civilization began to crumble.

‘The Bay’ (2012)

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Ever since found footage horror movies became popular with The Blair Witch Project, filmmakers have worked to find other areas to explore within the genre. The Bay is about a Maryland seaside community upon which havoc is wreaked when an evolved parasite begins to spread through isopods living in the water.

Like in the movie, scientists and doctors didn’t know what they were dealing with when COVID-19 hit. It’s a communicable disease that spreads rapidly, but the full effects and exactly how it spreads are still being learned. The Bay‘s director, Barry Levinson, told Yahoo! that the film “is backed up with 80 percent factual information.”

‘Shaun of the Dead’ (2004)

The oldest entry on this list is also the funniest. This horror-comedy film from Edgar Wright was the first of his Cornetto trilogy. Starring Simon Pegg, Kate Ashfield, and Nick Frost, it depicts a British man and his roommate who discover the zombie apocalypse has arrived — and they’re the only ones paying attention.

Shaun of the Dead demonstrates how people will go about their everyday lives even when the worst is happening. In one scene, a newscaster warns people to stay inside and avoid others. Of course, that’s not what happens, and everything goes wrong when they decide to leave.

‘Virus’ (2019)

Finally, the newest film on this list came out just months before COVID-19 went global. While the Malayalam-language medical thriller is technically fictional, it’s based on the very real Nipah virus outbreak in the Kerala, India.

Perhaps what makes the movie most relevant is how much it differs from the situation in the U.S. The virus is contained within weeks. And the citizens — even those in neighboring areas that were not affected — were fully quarantined, as opposed to being simply asked to stay home.