Last Updated on November 10, 2021
Pandemic movies have it all. They bring suspense, mystery, action heroes who race to save the day and very often, a feel-good ending when humanity beats a serious global threat. If you want to experience the best viral content (pun intended), then feel free to pick any of the amazing movies from our master list below!
1. Contagion (2011)
Beth Emhoff doesn’t know it but she is the first person ever to be infected with the novel virus MEV-1. After she returns home to Minneapolis from a business trip to Hong Kong, she falls ill. As those she had been in contact with also come down with the virus, MEV-1 spreads at an alarming rate.
In the confusion, governments believe that it is a bio-weapon while citizens turn unruly and scientists race to create a vaccine. A vaccine that arrives too late for millions and sparks new violence by those desperate to save their communities.
2. I Am Legend (2007)
A deadly outbreak sweeps through Earth’s population after scientists botch an attempt to genetically adapt the measles virus to become a cure for cancer. U.S. Army virologist LTC Robert Neville loses his entire family during the chaotic evacuation of Manhattan and as the years pass by, Neville lives in the seemingly empty city unsure if there are any other survivors.
The only other inhabitants are Darkseekers, infected humans who look like albinos and behave like vampires. Neville spends his time catching the deadly creatures and doing experiments on them to find a cure. His mission changes profoundly when he meets two immune survivors and the pack of Darkseekers who hunt them.
3. Zombieland (2009)
In this comedy-horror, mad cow disease mutates into mad person disease and unleashes a plague of zombies that destroys civilization. After hiding for two months in his apartment, awkward college student Columbus decides to go on a road trip to find out if his parents have survived.
Along the way, he meets other survivors with their own hangups and strategies to cope with the reality of being zombie prey. When Columbus learns that his hometown has been destroyed and his parents are gone, he and his ragtag group of friends decide to head out to California. Throughout their journey, with hilarious moments, the group realize that they are not alone and that they can form their own family.
4. Outbreak (1995)
When virologist Sam Daniels investigates a disease outbreak in Zaire, he has no idea that he has just stumbled upon a 28-year-old secret. Daniels reports to his superior, brigadier general Billy Ford, his concerns that the unknown virus might spread but Ford disagrees.
After an infected monkey is smuggled into the US, the virus infects numerous people in Cedar Creek, which the military surrounds and place under martial law. Daniels and his team race to find the monkey, a crucial step in developing the antidote, but finds increasing resistance from Ford.
When Daniels realize that the military has known about the so-called Motaba virus all along and was planning to nuke Cedar Creek to keep it a secret, he defies all orders in order to save the town.
5. 12 Monkeys (1995)
When, in 1996, a terrorist group called the Army of the Twelve Monkeys releases a lethal pathogen, most of humanity is wiped out. The survivors are forced to live underground but by 2035, they have the technology to send someone back in time. The idea is to track down the original virus and find a cure.
But the plan is not perfect. The man who is chosen to go back, James Cole, is a prisoner haunted by a particular nightmare and several times he’s sent to the wrong year, which almost gets him killed. When James finally makes headway he learns that the Twelve Monkeys never released the virus and that his nightmare is, in fact, a terrifying premonition.
6. The Maze Runner series (2014)
When teenager Thomas wakes up in an elevator, he soon finds himself in a grassy area with other boys. Just like him, all they remember about themselves are their names but unlike Thomas, they have been trying to escape from their strange world for some time.
He soon discovers that they are surrounded by a maze with deadly traps, creatures, and a guarantee of death for anyone who stays there at night. Thomas joins their clever efforts to escape the maze but while rivalry and enemies begin to blur his chances of survival, a shattering reality awaits them all outside.
7. World War Z (2013)
The last normal moment Gerry Lane and his family experience is waiting out a traffic jam in their home city of Philadelphia. The next moment, zombies flood the area and they barely manage to escape to New Jersey. But to their horror, no matter where they go, the zombies always find them.
Thanks to his past work with the UN, Jerry is rescued and his wife and children are given a safe place aboard a US Navy ship. But nothing in life is free and Jerry is given an ultimatum – leave the ship with a team of experts tasked with hunting down the source of the virus or watch his family get kicked off the ship.
8. Warm Bodies (2013)
Eight years after he fell victim to the zombie apocalypse, R spends his time wandering with his fellow undead around an airport. One day, he encounters a group of humans searching for food and after R eats one of them, he falls in love with Julie, a girl he rescues.
Julie cannot understand why a zombie is protecting her against the undead and why R is starting to show signs that his zombie state is reversing. But she becomes convinced that a cure is afoot and tries to convince her family and friends to join forces with the undead to overcome an even greater evil.
9. 28 Days Later (2002)
When animal activists free an infected Chimpanzee, they unintentionally unleash a virus that triggers intense aggression in humans. Aptly called “Rage,” the highly contagious virus sweeps through Britain and 28 days after the start of the pandemic, society has collapsed and coma patient Jim wakes up in hospital. Totally confused, he’s almost killed by infected people but a woman called Selena rescues him.
They later meet Hannah and her father who join them when they hear a military broadcast giving directions to a safe base. However, once they arrive the group discovers that the promise of safety is a trap and that the uninfected can sometimes be a worse danger.
10. Bird Box (2018)
Pregnant Malorie Hayes is visiting her doctor for a routine checkup when the world changes in an instant. Mysterious entities appear and whoever sees them immediately commit suicide. Malorie makes it to a safe house where she holes up with a group of survivors and they carve out a routine to go on with their lives.
But when they open the door to the wrong person, tragedy strikes and Malorie, along with Tom and her two children, hide for five years in severe seclusion. One day, they receive a message giving directions to a safe community and the family embarks on a perilous journey in a desperate bid to leave the entities behind.
11. Blindness (2008)
When a mysterious blindness strikes a young professional, his doctor cannot find anything wrong. But soon, the blindness rapidly spreads and many of the affected are crammed into a derelict asylum. As the problem grows and more people are dumped inside, the heavily-guarded concentration camp develops its own terrifying culture of violence and fear.
When women start to suffer rape and murder, the doctor’s wife, who can see but pretended to be blind so that she could stay with her husband, decide to take the law into her own hands and free everyone.
12. Quarantine (2008)
When reporter Angela Vidal and Scott Percival, her cameraman, stay at the Los Angeles Fire Department for the night all they expect is to film are a few call-outs or even a quiet night at the station. But when they accompany two firemen to an apartment building to investigate screams reported by the landlord, things go wrong in a terrifying beat.
A mysterious rabies mutation is infecting the building’s residents, causing them to attack, kill and even eat their victims. Angela and Scott are quarantined inside with other survivors and while fighting for their lives, they also discover the terrible truth about the so-called Doomsday Virus.
13. The Crazies (2010)
Sheriff David and his wife Judy, who is a local doctor, cannot explain the seemingly random acts of insanity popping up in their town of Ogden Marsh, Iowa. But after David discovers that a military aircraft had crashed in a nearby river, he starts to suspect that something in the plane’s cargo had contaminated the town’s water supply.
David and Judy quickly realize that when the military comes to clean up a secret mistake, they sweep everything under the rug – even innocent civilians. To survive, the couple faces lethal craziness from the infected and an official order to shoot everyone living in Ogden Marsh.
14. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
While driving in rural Louisiana at night and listening to news reports of strange blackouts in cities, Michelle is knocked unconscious when something hits her car. She wakes up in an underground bunker with two men who explain that the world is under attack and the air outside is too toxic to breathe.
Unsure of whether to believe them and not trusting Howard, whom she remembers forcing her car off the road, Michelle tries to adapt to life inside the bunker. But after she finds signs of a previously kidnapped girl and Howard murders their companion, Michelle knows that she has to escape – only to find that the outside world is now an even bigger nightmare than the bunker.
15. Cabin Fever (2002)
A hermit living in the woods becomes sick after he catches an illness from his dead dog. But when he tries to seek help from a group of spring-break students partying at a cabin, they accidentally kill him. One of the students, Paul, watches as those around him succumb to a mysterious disease that corrupts their bodies and minds. When he tries to seek help in the nearby town, several people try to attack him.
After he finds the hermit’s body floating in the reservoir, Paul realizes that the contaminated water is infecting the town. Fighting the growing side-effects of his own infection, Paul tries to warn the town’s Sherrif.