When you hear the words “deadly virus,” what first comes to mind? The very real possibility of a pandemic is always in the back of our minds, and Hollywood has capitalized on this fear by producing numerous films about contagions and deadly viruses.
As the world watched Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion, many were left wondering what other movies could be similar. The film is an intense thriller that focuses on the outbreak of a deadly virus and the efforts to stop it.
If you’re looking for a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat, check out one of these ten movies like Contagion.
Table of Contents
1. Virus (2019)
The first and foremost movie on our list is Virus which was released on June 7, 2019.
The film was initially released in the Malayalam language in India, starring Indrajith Sukumaran, Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Revathi, Parvathy Thiruvothu, Poornima Indrajith, and Asif Ali. Suhas-Sharfu and Muhsin Parari wrote the script, and Ashiq Abu is the film’s director.
The Virus is a medical thriller based on the 2018 Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala, India. It is one of the movies like Contagion, in which an unknown virus has infected a person named Zakariya Mohammed. He died after bringing to the hospital, and the staff who attended to him also got infected.
After a while, the spread and death toll increased, and the medical professionals tried to find the root cause of this infection to fight back appropriately. While Neurologists were examining the symptoms of the disease, the symptoms found were very similar to poisoning and Japanese encephalitis, and the same kind of infection.
The symptoms then put the medical professionals in an alarming situation and led to the confirmation of the eruption of the Nipah Virus in the state. The increased infection and death rate because of the virus create an endemic situation.
In the end, the bravery and courage of the doctors and the right decisions taken by the government helped to control this endemic situation. It was also indicated that Zakariya got in touch with this virus through a flying fox.
2. 93 Days (2016)
A Nigerian drama thriller released on September 16, 2016, purely based on the 2014 outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria. This film was released in the English language and came under the category of one of the movies similar to Contagion and was purely dedicated to the Physician Ameyo Adadevoh in Nigeria, who holds a significant place in the treatment amidst the spread.
This 2016 film, 93 Days, was co-produced and directed by Steve Gukas in Nigeria, starring Bimbo Akintola, Danny Glover, Somkele Idhalama, and Bimbo Manuel. The movie was written by Paul S. Roulston and was based on the Ebola virus disease in Nigeria.
The movie was plotted on the basis of real-life events. The virus was brought to Lagos by a Liberal-American diplomat. After his arrival, severe symptoms arose, and he was shifted to the hospital, where it was speculated that he might be suffering from the Ebola virus.
This case was handled exceptionally by Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh as she took all the necessary decisions, from quarantining the infected patients and other precautions to stop the spread worldwide. After the diplomat’s death because of Ebola, everything was monitored to stop its spread and prevent it from becoming an epidemic.
World Health Organization also intervene in providing the equipment to Nigerian medical facilities to handle the Ebola virus outbreak. This story was purely focused on all the sacrifices that several people made to stop this virus from spreading and taking the shape of a pandemic or epidemic.
3. The Flu (2013)
The Flu was a South Korean film based on the outbreak of the deadly strain of H5N1. This film is also similar to the movies like Contagion, in which a deadly virus becomes the reason for the pandemic.
It was initially released on August 14, 2013, in the Korean language in South Korea, starring Soo Ae, Ma Dong Seok, and Jang Hyuk. The film was co-produced, written, and directed by Kim Sung-jin.
According to the Plot of this movie, the two smugglers brothers from Seoul, Ju Byung-woo and Ju Byung-ki find the illegal immigrants die in a shipping container for unknown reasons. Later, they took the only survivor Monssai to their head. In the meantime, one of the smugglers, Ju Byung-woo, becomes sick.
When Byung -woo went to the hospital for treatment, it spread to other people. In no less than 36 hours, this contagious virus spread within the city and led to an increased number of deaths. The airborne virus creates chaos in the city and infects the population of the places near Seoul.
This situation became more uncontrollable, and the involvement of the Korean army, reserve forces, United States Air force, United States Forces Korea, and KCDC intervened to control the situation. After struggling for a long time, everything came to control after creating the vaccine for the virus.
4. Carriers (2009)
Another movie in the category of Contagion type movies was the 2009 released post-apocalyptic American movie, Carriers. The film was directed and written by David Pastor and Alex Pastor, starring Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo, Emily VanCamp, and Christopher Meloni.
The movie was initially released on September 4, 2009, in the English language in the United States of America.
The movie revolves around the contagious virus spreading worldwide and swiping off the population from around the world. To keep themselves safe from this infectious virus, two brothers, Danny and Brian, decided to take shelter at turtle beach, which was their childhood vacation home, to get away from the chances of getting into contact with the virus.
Danny’s friend Kate and Brian’s girlfriend Bobby also joined them on the trip to stay out of the reach of the virus. While heading to the beach, they encountered a man named Frank and his infected daughter Jodie. They decided to help them by traveling to a nearby school where a serum to cure has been rumored to be available.
The same unexpected events occur that shows how a virus can turn your close ones against you. The movie revolves around a group finding a plague-free place and turning against one another in the process while avoiding the other infected people.
5. Doomsday (2008)
One of the other movies similar to Contagion is Doomsday. The film was initially released in the English language on March 14, 2008, in the United States and on May 9, 2008, in the United Kingdom.
The script of this film was written and directed by Neil Marshall, starring Rhona Mitra, Adrian Lester, Bob Hoskins, Malcolm McDowell, and David O’Hara.
Director Neil Marshall chose the concept that was purely based on the idea of technological soldiers battling ancient warriors.
This movie’s narrative was based on Scotland’s future, which has been quarantined due to the spread of deadly illness. A killer viral infection known as Reaper Virus was discovered in Scotland, infecting the entire population and driving them insane.
Further, political authorities from London sent a group to Scotland to look for a potential treatment after the virus was discovered in London.
In order to prevent the spread and heal from the infection, the British government constructed a gigantic 30-foot wall that separated Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom under the leadership of Major Eden Sinclair.
While the quarantine was declared a success, the government’s harsh tactic ruined diplomatic and economic links between the U.K. and the rest of the world, effectively making the Kingdom a separate country. This resulted in colossal unemployment, civic upheaval, and significant economic turbulence, forcing the United Kingdom to devolve into a nightmare.
This movie shows the situation between the economies when the pandemic arrived and the difficulties faced on an economic basis. In short, this film was about a group of people working to avert a calamity that could jeopardize the survival of the human race.
6. Blindness (2008)
The next on the list of movies like Contagion is Blindness, a thriller film based on suffering because of an infectious virus that causes Blindness. The movie was inspired by the novel Blindness written by the Portuguese author Jose Saramago in which the city was hit by an infection causing white Blindness.
The film premiered on May 14, 2008, at the 61st Annual Cannes Film Festival. Further, it was released in Canada on September 6, 2008, at the Toronto International Film Festival. The movie has been released in English and Japanese languages and in Brazil, Canada, and Japan.
The film was piloted by Fernando Meirelles, and the screenplay was written by Don McKellar, starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Alice Braga, Yusuke Iseya, Yoshino Kimura, Don McKellar, Maury Chaykin, Mitchell Nye, Danny Glover, and Gael García Bernal.
The movie begins with the Plot in which a young professional driver abruptly loses vision in his field of view while driving through an intersection. A sympathetic bystander offered him help. When the blind man’s wife arrives home, she brings him to an ophthalmologist who finds no problems and refers him for further evaluation to understand the root cause.
The following day, the physician also develops Blindness, and that’s how he realizes that a contagious sickness must be the reason behind the Blindness. After that, a sudden rise in cases of Blindness creates a situation of panic among the citizens.
Further, the government set up a quarantine for the blind in a shuttered institution as more people started going blind all around the city, sparking widespread terror. When a forensic team comes to pick up the doctor, his wife makes up a story that she has also come into contact with the virus, causing Blindness to accompany her husband.
After a while, a lot of incidents happen during the quarantine period. The city’s population was driven to a zombie-like, senseless battle for survival which further results in the breakdown of society.
In the quest for food and refuge, the doctor’s wife guides her husband and a few other patients out of their ward. After struggling without vision for a particular time period, the quarantined people recover their sight just like they lost it.
The driver, who was the first guy to go blind, then regains his sight in an instant, showing that the body has fought off the illness and that the Blindness was eventually just temporary.
7. I am Legend (2007)
The other one in the list of movies similar to Contagion is the 2007 hit post-apocalyptic action thriller film I am Legend. This movie was based on the novel I am Legend by Richard Matheson.
The film was initially released on December 14, 2007, in English, telling a story of a lone survivor in New York City who fights heroically to discover a cure years after a plague demolishes most civilizations and turns the survivors into monsters.
The screenplay was written by Mark Protosevich and Akiva Goldsman under the direction of Francis Lawrence starring Will Smith, Dash Mihok, and Alice Braga.
The movie’s plot works around Will Smith, who was the only person left unaffected by the contagious virus in the movie. A lethal attempt to genetically modify the measles virus to treat cancer turns out to be a failure, infecting 99% of the world’s population and turning those it spares into vampiric, cannibalistic, albino mutants known as Darkseekers, who are incredibly vulnerable to sunlight and prey on the few who are not affected.
Will Smith portrayed the role of U.S. Army virologist LTC Robert Neville, who stays alone in a deserted Manhattan in 2012. After three years of the outbreak, not knowing if there were still any healthy people around, he went out to look for food and supplies.
In the meantime, Neville also conducts experiments on infected rats to discover a viral cure. He also waits each day for any survivors who might reply to his ongoing recorded radio broadcasts, which direct them to meet him at the South Street Seaport at noon.
Flashbacks indicate that while the military was enforcing a quarantine of the island, his wife, Zoe, and daughter, Marley, perished in a chopper mishap during the chaotic evacuation of Manhattan. Will Smith did his best to justify his role in the movie through his brilliant acting.
Along with several other military members, Neville stayed behind. Sam was the only person left in touch with Neville. He frequently talks to some mannequins and the characters on video store film tapes to get rid of the loneliness.
He and Sam hide from the Darkseekers at night within his well-fortified Washington Square Park mansion. This story revolves around how Neville deals with his isolation and creates a cure for the infection to save the country from the Darkseekers.
7. 28 Days Later (2002)
This post-apocalyptic horror film, 28 Days Later, was released in 2002 and directed by Danny Boyle. The movie was written by Alex Garland and introduced Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Megan Burns, and Brendan Gleeson in the leading roles.
The movie was initially released in English on November 1, 2002, in the United Kingdom and Ireland. On June 27, 2003, it was released in the United States of America. This movie was also one of those movies like Contagion, in which a fatal virus spreads across the country, and the survivors look for safety to protect themselves from the infection.
The Plot of this movie was about an infected Chimpanzee who was released by a group of animal liberation activists from a laboratory in Cambridge.
Amidst this chaos, a highly contagious and aggressivity-inducing virus known as Rage has been released in Great Britain. Its instant expansion collapses the economy and turns into an epidemic.
In all the complexities, a bicycle messenger Jim emerges from a coma after 28 days in London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital after the original outbreak.
The survivors, Selena and Mark, saved Jim when he was attacked by infected people. Jim requested that they go to his parent’s home in Deptford, where they discovered that they had committed suicide.
Compared to other movies like Contagion, this one involves numerous horrifying events that turn Jim to look for shelter and survive in the vulnerable environment.
From finding false rescues to facing the situation of dying because of starvation, this movie showcases the journey of an average man. After successfully making his way to survival in 28 days, he recovered in a remote Cottage in Cumbria.
9. Outbreak (1995)
The “Outbreak” was also a medical disaster film based on the book “The Hot Zone” by Richard Preston. This movie was released on March 10, 1995, in the United States, initially in English.
The screenplay of this film was written by Robert Roy Pool and Laurence Dworet and co-produced and directed by Wolfgang Peterson, starring Dustin Hoffman, Donald Sutherland, Patrick Dempsey, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman.
This movie was also relatable to all other movies like Contagion, in which the struggle to find a cure for a deadly virus has been showcased. The Army physicians in this movie are battling to find a treatment for the contagious virus spread in the city of California because of the arrival of a monkey from Africa.
This movie begins with a very classic scene. The Plot begins in the time period 1967 when a virus called Motaba, which produces a fatal fever, was found in the African forest during the Kisangani Mutinies. It is one of the best movies like Contagion as it depicts the spread of a deadly virus elaborately.
The two U.S. Army officials, Donald McClintock and Billy Ford burned the camp where the infected soldiers were staying to hide the illness.
After twenty years, A USAMRIID virologist named Colonel Sam Daniels was assigned to look into an outbreak in Zaire. After gathering information, he and his team, Lieutenant Colonel Casey Schuler and fresh recruit Major Salt, returns to the United States. Daniels’s superior commander, Billy Ford, who further became a brigadier general, ignores his worries about the virus’s spread.
The negligence of Ford led to the smuggling of a white-headed capuchin monkey which was the root cause of the virus. Further, a worker at an animal testing laboratory steals the monkey to retain some profits by selling him into the black market.
But the move got wrong when he got infected by that monkey, and the same happened with the pet shop owner who bought the monkey. After that, the owner released the monkey to the woods, and the virus spread at a double pace.
The virus mutated and transformed into an airborne disease. Further, the cases increased, and a quarantine was imposed on the people. Several efforts have been made by army physicians to find a cure for the virus caused by a monkey.
Overall, this classic story was about how the virus spreads, and all the difficulties the citizens and government officials face curing the infection.
10. The Andromeda Strain (1971)
It was a classic American Science Fiction thriller based on the novel “The Andromeda Strain” by Michael Crichton in 1969. This movie was initially released in the English Language on March 12, 1971, in the United States, starring Arthur Hill, James Olson, Kate Reid, David Wayne, Paula Kelly, and George Mitchell.
In this movie, a team of scientists worked in a secret laboratory to find out the reason behind the killings of the people of a town. The screenplay and story for the movie were written by Nelson Gidding, and the producer and director of this film were Robert Wise.
The Andromeda Strain is the last movie on our list, which is similar to movies like Contagion. The Plot of this movie begins with the testimony of Dr. Jeremy Stone to the U.S. Senate Committee on Space Sciences in 1971 in the flashback.
When a U.S. government satellite crashes close to the sleepy rural community of Piedmont, New Mexico, killing nearly all of the locals. The satellite cannot be recovered despite an effort by a military recovery team from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Further, the military mobilizes a top-tier scientific team under the suspicion that the satellite brought back an alien organism.
Further, Dr. Stone and a surgeon named Dr. Mark Hall are dropped into Piedmont by helicopter while wearing protective suits. They learn that the town’s doctor opened the satellite in his office and that all of his blood has turned into powder due to crystallization.
Later, they find that nearly all of the town’s victims have blood crystallization, which has accelerated death. Moreover, this crystallization leads to the reason of committing suicide of two more residents after becoming insane.
Stone and Hall uncover two survivors after retrieving the satellite, a 69-year-old drunkard called Peter Jackson and a six-month-old wailing baby named Manuel Rios.
Further, the movie revolves all about the investigation behind the mass killings in the area and the reason causing the same. In fact, two more team members, Dr. Charles Dutton and Dr. Ruth Leavitt, joined them to find the cure for this deadly contagious virus.
Sometimes, it feels strange how these writers used their imagination to bring to the surface what was about to happen in the future. If you wish to distract yourself from post-apocalyptic or medical thrillers, you can also enjoy watching movies based on artificial intelligence.
There are many different genres of films, and one of those that are closely related to reality is virus-related movies. Next time, check the best names mentioned above if you wish to look for movies similar to Contagion.