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The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks 

Ranker Film
Updated June 14, 2019 7.4k votes 873 voters 42.7k 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.

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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

Released: 2002

Directed by: Danny Boyle

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

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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

Released: 2007

Directed by: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo

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

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#86 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,313 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #14 of 109 The Best Horror Movie Sequels

3
The Crazies is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Danielle Panabaker, Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell

Released: 2010

Directed by: Breck Eisner

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

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#96 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #10 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #17 of 143 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

4
I Am Legend is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Will Smith, Emma Thompson, Salli Richardson

Released: 2007

Directed by: Francis Lawrence

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

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#158 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #163 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #83 of 360 The Best Movies Based On Books

5
World War Z is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Brad Pitt, Matthew Fox, David Morse

Released: 2013

Directed by: Marc Forster

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

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#613 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,009 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #345 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

6
Outbreak is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman

Released: 1995

Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen

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

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The Bubonic Plague Ravaged San Francisco In The 1900s—And The Government Tried A Massive Cover Up #512 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #3 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

7
Resident Evil is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Jason Isaacs

Released: 2002

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

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

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18 Times Resident Evil Scared The Hell Out Of Us #167 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #282 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
Contagion is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
RossMynatt(Rossgeek333) added Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Matt Damon

Released: 2011

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

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

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It Was Overlooked At The Time, But 'Contagion' Is One Of The Most Realistically Scary Modern Films #626 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #700 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

9
Quarantine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Dania Ramirez, Jennifer Carpenter, Doug Jones

Released: 2008

Directed by: John Erick Dowdle

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

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#186 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #12 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #19 of 143 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

10
REC is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Manuela Velasco, Javier Botet, Ana Isabel Velásquez

Released: 2007

Directed by: Paco Plaza, Jaume Balagueró

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

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#182 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #1,480 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #13 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

11
The Stand is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Stephen King, Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald

Released: 1994

Directed by: Mick Garris

The Stand (ABC, 1994) is an American horror miniseries directed by Mick Garris, and based on the novel of the same name by Stephen King. The remaining survivors after a deadly plague split into ...more

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12
Cabin Fever is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Eli Roth, Cerina Vincent, Jordan Ladd

Released: 2002

Directed by: Eli Roth

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

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#108 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #14 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #15 of 93 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

13
Resident Evil: Apocalyps... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Iain Glen, Sienna Guillory

Released: 2004

Directed by: Alexander Witt

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

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14
Resident Evil: Extinctio... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Ashanti

Released: 2007

Directed by: Russell Mulcahy

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

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#670 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #21 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #20 of 143 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

15
It Follows is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Maika Monroe, Keir Gilchrist, Linda Boston

Released: 2014

Directed by: David Robert Mitchell

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

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#121 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #52 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies #16 of 22 The Most Pretentious Horror Movies Ever Made

16
Planet Terror is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Bruce Willis, Rose McGowan, Fergie

Released: 2007

Directed by: Robert Rodriguez

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

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#227 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #49 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #112 of 154 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

17
Resident Evil: Retributi... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Michelle Rodriguez

Released: 2012

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Resident Evil: Retribution is a 2012 American-Canadian-German science fiction action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It is the fifth installment in the Resident Evil ...more

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18
Contracted is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Najarra Townsend, Caroline Williams, Katie Stegeman

Released: 2013

Directed by: Eric England

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
19
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis

Released: 2003

Directed by: Lawrence Kasdan

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

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20
Splinter is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Splinter Jill Wagner, Paulo Costanzo, Shea Whigham

Released: 2008

Directed by: Toby Wilkins

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

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#397 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #37 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #53 of 64 Horror Movie Set-Ups You'd Least Like to Be Trapped In

21
The Omega Man is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Eric Laneuville

Released: 1971

Directed by: Boris Sagal

The Omega Man is a 1971 American science fiction film directed by Boris Sagal and starring Charlton Heston. It was written by John William Corrington and Joyce Corrington, based on the 1954 ...more

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#18 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #19 of 20 Small But Interesting Details From Our Favorite Horror Movies That Made Us Say, 'Whoa' #58 of 154 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

22
Doomsday is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Rhona Mitra, Malcolm McDowell, Bob Hoskins

Released: 2008

Directed by: Neil Marshall

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

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#36 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #122 of 154 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies #180 of 405 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time

23
Carriers is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Emily VanCamp, Chris Pine, Piper Perabo

Released: 2009

Directed by: Àlex Pastor, David Pastor

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

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#20 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks #59 of 143 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time #54 of 204 The Best Zombie Horror Films

24
Resident Evil: Afterlife... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Wentworth Miller

Released: 2010

Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson

Resident Evil: Afterlife is a 2010 Canadian-German 3D science fiction action horror film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It stars Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Shawn ...more

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The Best Characters in the Resident Evil Franchise, Ranked #713 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #23 of 111 The Best Movies About Disease Outbreaks

25
Quarantine 2: Terminal ... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Horror Movies About Virus Outbreaks
Mercedes Masöhn, Ignacio Serricchio, Josh Cooke

Released: 2011

Directed by: John Pogue

Quarantine 2: Terminal is a 2011 American science fiction horror film and a sequel to the 2008 film, Quarantine. It was written and directed by John Pogue and produced by Marc Brienstock. The ...more