The most terrifying pandemic-themed movies

Quarantining at home? Here are films about viruses and widespread diseases that you can watch

pandemic-themed movies

When the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic in March 2020, a lot of movie buffs couldn’t help but compare the ongoing global health emergency to a number of pandemic-themed movies. Though things got a little better in some parts of the world a year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the development and deployment of vaccines, it’s too early to tell how exactly the health crisis would end.

Despite the uncertainty, people are generally hopeful that the COVID-19 pandemic won’t lead to the end of mankind, which is one of the most common endings of films about pandemics, viruses, outbreaks, and widespread diseases. If you’re one of those who don’t mind watching these kinds of flicks in the middle of a real pandemic, then check out some of the most terrifying pandemic-themed movies on the list below.

12 Monkeys (1995)

The most terrifying pandemic-themed movies 1

Inspired by Chris Marker’s 1962 short film La Jetée, 12 Monkeys centers on James Cole (Bruce Willis), a convict from 2030s who is sent back to 1997 to gather information about a man-made virus that wiped out the majority of the world’s human population. In the movie’s version of 1997, people live in cages underground and have to wear condom-like bodysuit to avoid infection.

Though some critics find 12 Monkeys’ plot a bit of a jumble, mind-blowing plot twists and excellent performances from the cast make the Terry Gilliam-directed movie an eccentric and impactful experience. Aside from Willis, the film also stars Madeleine Stowe, Christopher Plummer, David Morse, and Brad Pitt, who earned an Oscar Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role as psychotic mental patient Jeffrey Goines.

Interesting facts about BTS
  • The group name, “BTS” stands for the Korean expression Bangtan Sonyeondan which translates to “Bulletproof Boy Scouts”. Band member J-Hope said that they chose this name because it represents BTS’s desire “to block out stereotypes, criticisms, and expectations that aim on adolescents like bullets.” But that isn’t the only meaning behind the name. In 2017, BTS said, as part of their new brand identity, that their name would also stand for Beyond the Scene” which extended their name to mean “growing youth BTS who is going beyond the realities they are facing, and going forward.”
  • BTS was originally intended to be a hip-hop group, similar to YG Entertainment’s 1TYM. This was because Big Hit Entertainment CEO Bang Si-hyuk met with RM and was very impressed by his rapping talents. However, Bang Si-hyuk changed his mind and decided that today’s youth needed “a hero who can lend them a shoulder to lean on, even without speaking a single word.”
  • BTS has said that all of the following musicians have inspired their music; Post Malone, Eminem, Seo Taiji and Boys, Nas, Kanye West, Drake, Charlie Puth, Danger, and Queen.
  • The band’s first English-language single, “Dynamite”, was released on August 21st. Its video broke the YouTube record for the most viewed music video premiere, grabbing the attention of three million viewers, and it set a new record for the most viewed video on the first day of release. “Dynamite” is also the first music video on YouTube to surpass 100 million views in less than one day.
  • BTS has been often labeled as “easily the biggest and most successful name in K-pop in the world” that can “do things no other name in their genre can.” Time magazine has gone as far as calling them the “Princes of Pop.”