Graveyard Shift

The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks  

Ranker Film
4.6k votes 565 voters 30.2k views 47 items

There's something in the air, and you definitely don't want to breath it in. Horror movies about viruses and diseases are particularly frightening, because they are among the most plausible situations that could actually happen in real life. This list ranks the scariest movies about virus outbreaks that infect large groups of people.

It can be a bit tricky to distinguish virus outbreak horror movies from zombie films, because often times zombies are birthed from some kind of airborne virus or disease. However, most of the virus horror movies on this list are more about the contagions infecting people than they are the result of the disease. Examples of these films include Viral, Quarantine, and The Happening.

It Follows is probably the best horror movie about a disease. It's kind of tricky to explain the plot if you haven't seen it, so just go ahead and watch the film if it has somehow evaded you up to this point- you definitely won't be disappointed.

list ordered by
1
28 Days Later is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Cillian Murphy, Christopher Eccleston, Naomie Harris
28 Days Later is a 2002 British post-apocalyptic horror film directed by Danny Boyle. The screenplay was written by Alex Garland. The film stars Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Brendan Gleeson, ...more
2
28 Weeks Later is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Rose Byrne, Idris Elba, Jeremy Renner
28 Weeks Later is a 2007 British-Spanish post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film, structured as a sequel to the 2002 critical and commercial success, 28 Days Later. 28 Weeks Later was ...more
3
The Crazies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Danielle Panabaker, Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell
The Crazies is a 2010 American horror film directed by Breck Eisner, with a screenplay by Scott Kosar and Ray Wright. The film is a remake of the 1973 film of the same name by George A. Romero, ...more
4
REC is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Ana Isabel Velásquez
REC is a 2007 Spanish horror film, co-written and directed by Jaume Balagueró and Paco Plaza. The film was shot in Barcelona, Spain and the title is an abbreviation of the word ...more
5
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson
I Am Legend is a 2007 American post-apocalyptic science fiction horror film directed by Francis Lawrence and starring Will Smith. It is the third feature film adaptation of Richard Matheson's ...more
6
Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman
Outbreak is a 1995 American medical disaster film directed by Wolfgang Petersen and based on Richard Preston's non-fiction book The Hot Zone. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and ...more
7
World War Z is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse
This film is a 2013 American apocalyptic action horror film directed by Marc Forster. The screenplay by Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, and Damon Lindelof is from a screen story by ...more
8
Quarantine is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Dania Ramirez, Jennifer Carpenter, Doug Jones
Quarantine is a 2008 American science fiction horror film directed by John Erick Dowdle and starring Jennifer Carpenter, Jay Hernandez, Columbus Short, Greg Germann, Steve Harris, Dania Ramirez, ...more
9
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs
Resident Evil is a 2002 German-British-French science fiction horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez. It is the first ...more
10
Contagion is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
RossMynatt(Rossgeek333) added Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon
Contagion is a 2011 medical thriller directed by Steven Soderbergh. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Marion Cotillard, Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, ...more
11
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald
The Stand is a 1994 American television miniseries based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. King also wrote the teleplay, and has a cameo role in the series. It was directed by Mick ...more
12
Cabin Fever is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Eli Roth, Cerina Vincent, Jordan Ladd
Cabin Fever is a 2002 American black comedy horror film directed by Eli Roth and starring Rider Strong, Jordan Ladd, James DeBello and Giuseppe Andrews. It was produced by Lauren Moews & ...more
13
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston
It Follows is a 2014 supernatural psychological horror film written and directed by David Robert Mitchell. After carefree teenager Jay (Maika Monroe) sleeps with her new boyfriend, Hugh (Jake ...more
14
Splinter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo, Shea Whigham
Splinter is a 2008 horror film directed by Toby Wilkins. It had a limited theatrical release on October 31, 2008 and stars Shea Whigham, Paulo Costanzo, and Jill Wagner. It was filmed near ...more
15
Contracted is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Katie Stegeman
Contracted is a 2013 horror thriller film directed and written by Eric England. It was first released on November 23, 2013, in the United States and stars Najarra Townsend as a young woman that ...more
16
Doomsday is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell, Bob Hoskins
Doomsday is a 2008 science fiction action film written and directed by Neil Marshall. When the virus is found in London, political leaders send a team led by Major Eden Sinclair to Scotland to ...more
17
Planet Terror is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Bruce Willis, Rose McGowan, Fergie
Planet Terror is a 2007 American action horror science-fiction film directed by Robert Rodriguez, about a group of people attempting to survive an onslaught of zombie-like creatures as they feud ...more
18
Carriers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Emily VanCamp, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo
Carriers is a 2009 American post-apocalyptic horror film written and directed by Àlex and David Pastor. It stars Lou Taylor Pucci, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo and Emily VanCamp as four ...more
19
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Sienna Guillory
Resident Evil: Apocalypse is a 2004 British-Canadian apocalyptic fiction action horror film directed by Alexander Witt, from a screenplay written by producer Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the ...more
20
Resident Evil: Extinction is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ashanti
RESIDENT EVIL: EXTINCTION is again based on the wildly popular video game series and picks up where the last film left off. Alice (Milla Jovovich), now in hiding in the Nevada desert, once again ...more
21
Viral is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Viral
22
Afflicted is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Zach Gray, Michel Gill, Greg Ng
Afflicted is a 2013 Canadian found footage film that was written and directed by Derek Lee and Clif Prowse, and is their feature film directorial debut. It had its world premiere on September 9, ...more
23
Pontypool is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Stephen McHattie, Daniel Fathers, Boyd Banks
Pontypool is a 2008 horror film directed by Bruce McDonald and adapted by Tony Burgess from Burgess' novel Pontypool Changes Everything.
24
Shivers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Shivers Barbara Steele, Joe Silver, Vlasta Vrána
Shivers is a 1975 Canadian science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg.
25
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis
Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William ...more