Now Scream This: Horror Movies About Pandemics And Quarantines You Can Stream Right Now

(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: So how y'all enjoying self isolation? It's only been a week for me and I now own 2019's Cats, so let's just say the situation has escalated exponentially in Casa De Donato. Is Cats the most horrifying movie of the decade? How many people will I force this monstrosity upon? Why am I still talking about Cats? In any case, here are a few breakout/quarantine themed horror recommendations that might prevent you from losing your ever-loving mind like I have.

Chris: Today we are canceling the apocalypse! Just kidding – it's still happening (I think? Who knows). But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy some horror movies. And I don't know about you, but all of this talk of viruses and quarantines actually puts me in the mood to watch movies about viruses and quarantines. Why? I don't know. Maybe I'm just sick in the head. But here we are. So kick-back at home with these picks! Side note: I can't believe Matt didn't include at least one Resident Evil movie on here.  

It Comes At Night

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: Trey Edward Shults takes a hack at isolation horror, in what you could argue was a before-its-time take on social distancing.  It Comes At Night's approach to outbreak paranoia is the slowest of burns, similar to A Quiet Place in its middle-of-the-wilderness separation from civility. The likes of Joel Edgerton, Carmen Ejogo, Riley Keough, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. navigate horrors from pandemic caution to unsolved break-in explanations. Might be a bit "talky" for some, not so much action. A certain breed of viewer will anoint brilliance while others will assume Shults misplaced half the introduction. If you like 'em bleak and psychologically relentless? You're in luck. Selective nightmare imagery is worth a banshee's scream.

Chris: I know lots of people are down on this film (it got a D cinemascore rating!), but I think it's fantastic. And depressing. 

Train To Busan

Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Zombie outbreaks are visually representative of diseases, except with flesh-munching zeds as an added bonus. In Train To Busan, the threat of spreading infections is commented on not only by the speed in which zombies sprint (how quickly viruses can overtake), but also close-proximity situations only making them worse. How *insanely* relevant as Americans are asked to socially distance yet continue to flood beaches thinking nothing wrong. Maybe watch Train To Busan and behold the effects of zombies flooding your commuter train? Infection takes a matter of minutes to contaminate a car's worth of passengers, quicker than the common cold. A splendid lesson upon 2020 rewatches, in addition to being one of the best action-horror flicks over the last decade.

Chris: Zombie movies are pretty damn played-out, but Train to Busan proves you can still do new, exciting things with the concept. 

Carriers

Now Streaming on Netflix

Matt: In this house, we stan Carriers almost as much as we stan Chris Pine's genre output. David and Àlex Pastor cut right to the heart of viral horror as survivors must stay healthy to stay alive. Nothing particularly flashy, but the pain of lifesaving choices and deathly consequences are depicted with the right amount of fearful sincerity. Everyone's been rewatching Contagion these days, reminiscing on its expert outbreak cinematics, but movies like Carriers shouldn't be lost within the shuffle. And, I mean, it's even available on Netflix. Let's get back to spreading the love when it comes to "rediscovering" titles now applicable thanks to current events?

Chris: I've never seen this, but I have seen Chris Pine. And let me tell ya: he's dreamy. 

A Quiet Place

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime

Matt: If you need some social distancing tips, why not look to A Quiet Place? A family is forced to pass the time with minimal electricity and just themselves, only venturing into the world when completely necessary. They may be afraid of berserker alien creatures tearing them in two parts, but John Krasinski still commands a quarantine subplot despite invasion means. Still, to this day, I talk about the impact of sound design and use A Quiet Place as one of my shining recent examples. Even upon rewatches, those audible jolts showcase how horror films without (major) background scores can be such a more punishing beast.

Chris: A Quiet Place is such a tight film – there's not an ounce of fat on this thing – and I can't wait to see the sequel, if it ever actually comes out here in this terrifying world. 

The Stuff 

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime and Tubi

Matt: Consumerism in the face of doomsday outbreak - The Stuff holds nothing back. Marshmallow fluff fills the bodies of hungry addicts as those who fear the foreign substance's possible danger do everything to stay away from ingestion. Not exactly a quarantine thriller, but any chance I get to mention Chocolate Chip Charlie (played by Garrett Morris) must be accepted as per my personal credo. Larry Cohen is on some Invasion Of The Body Snatchers meets The Blob recipe, hungry for the midnighter interpretation that ejects sloppy white foam from unhinged and inhuman mouths. It's a trip, and shows the smarts of indie horror despite dissenters of the genre complaining it's all just mindless gore and gruesomeness.

Chris: We as a society didn't deserve Larry Cohen, but I'm so glad we were blessed with his presence and his weird, wild, low-budget movies. 

Twelve Monkeys

Now Streaming on Showtime

Chris: While Contagion seems to be everyone's go-to movie at the moment, mine was Twelve Monkeys. The best of Terry Gilliam's movies (yes, even better than Brazil), this post-apocalyptic time travel story has Bruce Willis living underground after a virus has wiped out most of humanity. Willis is sent back in time (to the '90s!) to find the virus in its purest form so the scientists in the future can find a cure. It's a bleak premise because Willis says time and time again: he can't stop the virus from spreading. It's already happened. It's already too late. There's a lot to love here, especially the fact that this is one of those rare movies where Bruce Willis is clearly trying and not sleepwalking. Bonus: Brad Pitt's wonked-out performance as a rich mental patient who may or may not be the one who spread the virus. 

Matt: Undeniably one of Gilliam's best, and a sci-fi knockout that continues to restate relevant once every few years.

In the Mouth of Madness

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: One my all-time-favorite John Carpenter movies, In the Mouth of Madness has Sam Neill as an insurance investigator trying to find a missing horror novelist. The more he looks into the case, the more Neill's character starts to discover that the terrifying books the author writes aren't fiction. Full of Lovecraftian horror and an almost addictive storyline, In the Mouth of Madness is one of the most rewatchable movies of all time. 

Matt: Alright, I'm putting In The Mouth Of Madness on now. Yes, blind spot. 

28 Days Later

Now Streaming on Hulu

Chris: Danny Boyle's fast and furious zombie (er, sorry, infected) movie has some survivors traveling through post-apocalyptic UK, dealing with lots and lots of death. It's nasty as hell and highly effective. That said, the movie sort of falls apart in its third act when it brings in a set of military characters. I actually think the sequel, 28 Weeks Later, is superior, but I'm in the minority there.  

Matt: The whole "blood droplet into eye" sequence still makes my skin crawl, and there's no denying Boyle unleashes undead intensity unlike few zombie equivalents.

The Crazies (2010)

Now Streaming on Amazon Prime Video

Chris: The Crazies remake is a solid, nasty little pic. A small town is plunged into chaos when a mysterious toxin starts turning the residents into bloodthirsty murderers. Local sheriff Timothy Olyphant tries to keep order at first, and then just tries to get the hell out of town with his wife (Radha Mitchell). Can't say I blame him. Slick, gory, and featuring one of those sturdy, dependable Olyphant performances, The Crazies is worth being rediscovered. 

Matt: I really dig this remake, and hope enough people give it credit for honestly being one of the better horror films of its decade.

Quarantine

Now Streaming on Crackle 

Chris: Let me be clear: [REC] – the Spanish film that inspired Quarantine – is much better. But Quarantine is pretty darn good too. For one thing, it's an almost shot-for-shot remake, so it's almost the same movie. For another, it benefits from having the excellent Jennifer Carpenter in the lead. Carpenter plays a reporter embedded with a fire department who ends up going on an emergency run to an apartment building. People inside the building are sick – very sick – with rabies-like symptoms. And now the apartment is locked-down, and no one can get out. 

Matt: Watch the far superior Spanish language [REC] if possible, of which Quarantine is indeed the American remake.