With the news and media outlets running constant coverage on the spread of the coronavirus, it can be pretty easy to feel bogged down by a sense of encroaching doom. Yet, while the panic over the coronavirus seems to be on the rise, so too does the popularity of medical disaster flicks and doomsday virus thrillers. Whether this is a sign that we all have incredibly morbid senses of humor or are brave enough to stare down our fears (from the comfort of our couches, anyway), who can say? But the good news is this: the 1995 medical disaster movie Outbreak was just added to Netflix this March—and now's the perfect time to revisit the flick.
Like the movie Contagion—which recently jumped to the top of the iTunes movie charts, despite being nearly a decade old—Outbreak follows the threat of a nasty, quick-spreading virus. The film stars Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, and Morgan Freeman in leading roles, fighting against the deadly spread of an Ebola-like sickness through the fictional town of Cedar Creek, California while a sinister military threat closes in. The movie is based on Richard Preston's bestselling nonfiction thriller, The Hot Zone. Compared to the reality of the coronavirus, the drama of Outbreak is both better (there’s a very cute monkey involved) and worse (Kevin Spacey is there). But if the world is going to end, isn’t now the perfect time to watch—or rewatch—this classic pandemic horror movie?
If you’re like me, dutifully washing your hands and patiently waiting to see how things pan out, then this movie is the perfect way to alleviate stress and work out your frustrations with the media’s sensationalized coverage of the world’s problems. If you’re like my best friend who sent me eight texts this morning because a stranger breathed in her direction on the train, maybe skip the viewing party. Either way, take it easy, take care of yourself, and take a moment to escape the doom and gloom of the world today however you see fit.
If you think you can stomach it, check out the trailer for Outbreak below, then start streaming it on Netflix now!
Featured photo of "Outbreak" via Warner Bros.