Virus movies aren't anything new to the horror genre but over the last 10 years they seem to have exploded on audiences and given them a disease of their own. With so many real viruses lately and the news being able pump more fear into our subconsciousness, it's only natural for film makers to cash in on this new kind of terror and paranoia. However, unlike bird flu, SARS, West Nile, where people just need a shot; the people in these films come back as zombies or rage monsters and are hell bent on infecting or killing everyone around them.
These are 5 Virus Films That Are Worth Catching:
5. Infection (2004) - In a terribly under funded hospital, Dr. Akiba refuses to let a patient in with a strange black rash. While arguing with the paramedic, he is called to an emergency with a patient that has severe burns on his body. The patients vitals are dropping and a young nurse gives the patient the wrong shot and kills him. Dr. Akiba, Dr. Ouzumi and the two nurses, after some arguing decide to cover up the death and wheel the body to a warmer room to speed up the body's decay. Dr Akiba finds the patient with the rash that he refused earlier in the hallway and ends up pushing the body into a another room. The doctors look over the patient and agree they have never seen anything like it. They leave the room and when they return, most of the body has liquefied into green goo but they believe the rest of patient must be somewhere. And so the search begins and they start looking for this mysterious gooey person. Meanwhile, the nurses start acting strange, are bleeding green goo and trying to kill one another! Can the doctors find the cause of this outbreak of goo and treat it or turn into some untasty creme de menthe! Masayuki Ochai does a good job setting the tone of this film and has it placed in a dark creepy setting. Like most Japanese horrors, there is a lot going on and can be confusing but the story holds together well enough. There are some really creepy scenes and some pretty gross kills. If you like Japanese horror than you should dig this. Also, there are no creepy kids in the movie.
4. Cabin Fever (2002) - A group of college friends head out to a remote cabin in the woods for spring break! There's Jeff and his girlfriend Marcy, Paul and his lady friend, Karen, who he's been trying to woo since 8th grade, and then there's Burt. Burt doesn't care that he's alone cuz he just wants to party! They stop at convenience store to pick up supplies, meet some unusual hillbilly type people, including a child that bites people including Burt and then Burt gets busted from stealing a chocolate bar. Burt pays for the candy bar and they head out to the camp. When the get there, Jeff & Marcy head to the bedroom, Paul & Karen head to the lake and Burt...goes and shooting for squirrels. That's not even a metaphor, he does actually goes hunting for squirrels with a BB gun and accidentally shoots a guy in the head. Burt goes to check on the guy but when he sees how sick the dude looks, he runs away. That night, they're telling ghost stories, roasting marshmallows and some hipster dufus, name Grim swings buy with some weed and joins them. It starts to rain and they head back to the house, they invite Grimm and his weed back to the house but he says he's got to grab something from his tent but he'll be back in a bit. Once inside the house, they hear a knock at the door and thinking it's Griff, they open the door, but it's the dude that Burt shot and he looks awfully sick. The gang refuses to let the guy into their cabin because they don't want to get sick, so the guy freaks out and tries to steal their car. They run out with bats, knives and the BB gun and try to get the guy out of the truck but end up damaging their truck and setting the guy on fire. Ooops! The dude runs into the woods on fire, the gang thinking the rain will extinguish the man on fire, go back into the house. The next morning, we, the audience, see the dead dude lying in the water but unfortunately, it's the reservoir water. So now the drinking water is contaminated. The gang wakes up and Karen has a glass of water, Burt and Jeff go searching for help for the truck and the virus begins to work it's magic! I was leary about this one cuz I had heard mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. Eli Roth takes some pretty standard and unlikeable characters and makes you want them to survive. The dialouge is interesting, using hipster speak from ten years ago that makes you want to cringe, when you remember people talking like that. The kid from Boy Meets World, Rider Strong does a surprisingly good job as the main character and is really engaging. It's gruesome, it's funny and turns into cool wild ride. The ending is awesome and Eli Roth ties some nice elements of the script together that will make you smile when it's over.
3. Pontypool (2008) - In the small Ontario town of Pontypool, radio shock jock, Grant Mazzy is driving through a blizzard to get to his early morning shift at the radio station, when a women approaches his car at a stop light. When he rolls down the window and she disappears into snow. He thinks it's strange but heads to work. When he gets to work, his producer Syndey Briar and technical assistant, Laurel Ann Drummond start prepping fo the show. Once on the air, everything seems fine until there is a report of a riot at Dr. Mendez's house. This is reported by Ken Loney, a reporter who pretends that his car is a helicopter and drives around town and gives reports about things going on. Love small towns. The terror in his voice strikes fear in Mazzy and the team, has he describes these horrific events unfolding before this eyes. The phone call abruptly ends with Ken trying to escape. Laurel Ann and Sydney search for stories on the wire to verify what is transpiring but to no avail. Mazzy begins to thinks that people may be playing a tricks on him but when an announcement in French interrupts their broadcast and warns everyone not to speak English because it has become a virus carrying language and to stay indoors, he realizes it is all to real but they still don't understand what that means or why it's happening. Ken Loney calls back and is terrified, hiding in a grain silo and tries to depict the horrors he has encountered and how the horde seems to be chanting the same bizarre words and are attacking people. The phone goes dead again while he tries to escape to safer ground. Mazzy and his team go to lock them themselves in the station and notice a mass of people heading towards them. They lock up the building quickly but Laurel Ann seems to be fixated on certain words and is acting abnormal. They hear a window open and in crawls a stranger. He introduces himself as Dr. Mendez. He notices Laurel Ann's symptoms and says he's seen this before with other victims. He says that she is too far gone and suggests locking themselves up in the sound booth. Once, Mazzy, Sydney & Dr. Mendez lock themselves in, Laurel Ann goes berserk and tries to smash her way into the sound booth. Dr. Mendez explains that certain words are the virus carriers and can infect people if they stumble on specific words. Can they find a cure for the English language, you'll have to watch and see. This Canadian film is one of Bruce Macdonald's better films. It's a really interesting twist on the virus/zombie genre and an idea that doesn't get so esoteric that it's unbelievable. It's not a blood bath, but there is some gory scenes and the real terror comes from the not knowing what is going on. Like old school horror movies, MacDonald employs the less you see, the more the audiences imagination can create a vivid imagery of the violence going on. The cast is minimal, which allows Stephen McHattie, Lisa Houle and the other cast members to give an amazing performance. Definitely worth checking out.
2. (REC) (2007) - A young television reporter, Angela and her camera man, Pablo are on assignment for the show, "While You're Asleep", and they're learning about the Barcelona's firefighters. They interview the men & women of the fire station, talk to them about equipment, and are even playing basketball with them, when the fire bell is sounded. Excited Angela & Pablo are assigned by the fire chief to follow, Manu and Alex and they jump into the truck and head to the emergency. When they arrive, they find the police have arrived as well and learn that an old woman is trapped in her apartment. The team go up to the apartment and find the old woman to be extremely aggressive and she bites one of the police officer. They also find a dead body of a girl and they all run downstairs leaving Alex the fireman to stay with the old lady to keep an eye on her. When they get to the entrance, they find that the residents are scared and that the military, without any explanation, won't let anyone out of the building. While the residents are panicking at the entrance downstairs, Alex the fireman's body is thrown down the stairs. The police officer and Manu, along with Angela & Pablo go back up stairs and the police officer ends up shooting the old lady. You don't through fireman, bad old lady. Trapped in the building, Angela & Pablo start interviewing the residents. They speak to a little girl named Jennifer, who thinks she has tonsillitis and misses her dog Max, who ran away a few days ago. The health inspector finally arrives wearing a hazmat suit and begins to take blood samples from everybody. The inspector, the police man, Manu and some nerdy intern guy go and take a look at the victims of the old woman, with Pablo & Angela sneaking off to spy on them. The inspector hand cuffs the injured fireman, kinky, and tries to handcuff the policeman but is attacked! They escape but nerdy intern guy was bitten and they try to keep those monsters at bay in a room. The health inspector explains that it is a virus that is spread through bites and it originated from a dog named Max that lived at this location. Everyone turns to Jennifer and her mom, then Jennifer attacks her mom! Everybody freaks out and panics as they try to catch the little girl but the zombies are breaking loose for the room! All hell is breaking loose! Who will survive and get this footage to the television station? From Spain, this POV horror flick is really fun to watch. It's interesting because it's kind of a ground zero zombie flick. The infection hasn't taken over and it's how the government, would probably handle the situation by keeping it contained at any cost. The acting is minimal, but it doesn't take away from the story. Maybe acting isn't the correct term, reacting might be better. The characters do a wonderful job reacting to the horrors that surround them. Good scary scenes, lots of blood and very infectious story.
1. 28 Days Later (2002) - Animal liberators bust into a lab and are about to free the test chimpanzees, when a doctor runs in with a warning! He tells them that chimpanzees are infected with a rage virus and can't be freed or they will cause some serious shit. The liberators don't care and release one of the chimpanzees and yep, it bites her right in her fucking face. Take that hippie! 28 days later, Jim wakes up in the hospital after a bike courier accident and walks into a different world. There are no people on the street and he wonders what the hell is going on. He hears some noises and wanders into a church and is attack by a mad priest! He is chased out into the streets by rage infected people and saved by his new best mates Selena and Mark, who throw Molotov cocktails at them and end up blowing up a gas station. They reach their honeycomb hideout in the London Underground and explain to Jim, that while he was unconscious a virus spread like wildfire throughout the populace and wiped out the society as he once knew it. I hate when that happens. Jim is pretty bummed but would still like to see if his family is still alive because there's a one in million chance. So the next day they gear up and go to Jim's house. Unfortunately, Jim's parent committed suicide, so the gang decide to bunk there for the night and head out the next day. Jim lights a candle to get a snack or something and 2 infected people see the light and attack them. Selena ends up dispatching of the infected ones but Mark was bitten, which means he needs to die to. Hope that snack was worth it Jim. Selena kills Mark and now Jim has only one new friend. They take off into the night, knowing the house is compromised and as their driving, Jim sees the twinkling Christmas lights on an apartment balcony. Shiny! He thinks they're may be people in the apartment and suggests to Selena to go check it out. After tearing down the barricade other people put up and letting a couple more infected people into a relatively safe zone, they find Frank and his daughter Hannah. Luckily, Frank kills the 2 infected people and they have some drinks together. The next morning, they hear on the radio that there is a survivor encampment just north of Manchester. They decide that they should go and check it out. Can they get to the encampment, is this the answer to save humanity or will it be a trap for Jim and heroes? Danny Boyle does a amazing job with this film. Shooting minutes at a time in the early mornings in London as not to interrupt the flow of british commuters. Brilliant casting with Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris and Brendan Gleason bringing their forlorn characters to life. Lots of scares and come on hurry up moments, some excellent blood shed and some really good fun. Must see for everybody!
So, cover your mouth when you cough, wash your hands and if someone is staggering towards you with a glazed look in their eyes, keep them at a distant because they may try and bite you! Unless it's your date or significant other because it might not be a bad thing!