5 films to help you get into the pandemic genre

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World War Z (2013) starring Brad Pitt.

Zach Bankes and Zach Bankes

Pandemic films can sometimes be an odd genre to get into, but with COVID-19 more relevant than ever as the weeks progress, these movies are becoming the talk of streaming services. These films’ plots can be anything from a human virus to a futuristic zombie apocalypse. If you’re looking for some relevant movies to watch during these times of quarantine, then these films might be just the thing for you.

‘Outbreak’ (1995)

“Outbreak” is a great film to help you kick off the genre. The film is loaded with stars including Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman and Cuba Gooding Jr. This film follows Colonel Sam Daniels (played by Hoffman), as he tries to stop an infectious virus from spreading outside a rural California town. Throughout the film, Daniels and his crew try to find the root of the virus and what they can do to keep it from spreading nationally. As the film progresses, things get hectic as Daniels is seen as a threat to the government’s plans with what to do with the California city. The plot deepens as many of Daniel’s crew members become infected and he must find the cure by himself. The only way to get the government’s attention is by proving that human lives are more important than negative media coverage.

‘I Am Legend’ (2007)

If you haven’t seen this film already, or even if you have, it is one of the best of its genre. Not only was the film a huge box-office success, but it has numerous crazy twists and turns that will leave you on the edge of your seat. This action-packed film starring Will Smith, takes you into the life of Robert Neville, a virologist, living with no one else around but his dog after an apocalypse nearly wipes the Earth clean. The apocalypse was caused by a thought to be a cure for cancer gone wrong, and Neville spends his nights trying to find a cure for what has turned ordinary people into blood-sucking beasts. After years of being by himself, Neville has learned his way around the city and the do’s and don’ts of this post-apocalyptic life, and he’s willing to do anything in his power to restore the life he once knew.

‘Zombieland’ (2009)

“Zombieland” is much more lighthearted than other films on this list, but still is a great representation of the genre. If you haven’t seen it already, “Zombieland” is a comedy film about how to fight zombies, post-apocalypse style. This film starring Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson shows just what it’s like kicking zombie butt every day with no end in sight. Columbus (played by Eisenberg), and Tallahassee (played by Harrelson), decide to join forces as they go on a journey to find the best possible situation for themselves during a zombie apocalypse. Columbus seems to have a rule for every situation in the zombie world, and this is what has helped him not just survive, but thrive during these harsh conditions. There are more than a few hiccups along the way as their car and other possessions are stolen by other survivors. As they attempt to get back their belongings they must fight the undead and maybe find a few Twinkies along the way. And if this film has you craving for more, the sequel, “Zombieland: Double Tap,” was released in 2019 and packs just as much heat as the original.

‘World War Z’ (2013)

“World War Z” is another zombie apocalypse movie and another big box office success. It seems that pandemic films seem to just pique public interest. “World War Z” stars Brad Pitt, playing former United Nations worker Gerry Lane as he and his family must fight their way through a plague of the undead and try to find a cure to the madness. The film begins with Lane and his family stuck in a Philadelphia traffic jam. Lane soon realizes that this is more than just a traffic jam as people are screaming with mass hysteria. Lane soon finds out that there is an infectious virus that if bitten, turns you into one of the undead. Much is learned along the way as Lane and his family try to figure out anything they can to help better their odds against the plague of zombies. Two of the most important things learned though, they are attracted to sound, and they don’t seem to go after the sick or wounded. Gerry uses what he has learned to his advantage as he believes that if he can get back to the U.N., he can test his theory and see if this will help the cause.

‘12 Monkeys’ (1995)

“12 Monkeys” starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt is a pandemic film about a contagious virus that has nearly destroyed the entire planet. James Cole, played by Willis, is a prisoner in the year 2035. He is picked to go on a mission back in time to help prevent the virus from happening by gathering information and bringing it back to 2035. His journey starts off rough when Cole is sent to the wrong year. After several attempts, Cole is sent to 1996 as planned and is willing to do any means necessary to help find answers. Cole is in the belief Jeffrey Goines, played by Pitt, may have something to do with the virus. When questioned, Goines knows he may be in trouble and lies about having involvement with the virus and situations only get stickier from there.