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Movies To Watch During The Coronavirus Quarantine Main

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15 Horror Movies to Watch During the Coronavirus Quarantine

Written by Chris Shamburger

With most of the world on lockdown due to the unprecedented spread of the coronavirus, there's a chance you'll find yourself stuck at home with plenty of time on your hands. Maybe you'll finish that DIY project you've been putting off. Maybe you'll finally organize that sock drawer. But as hours become days, and days potentially become weeks, you might get a little stir crazy. But don't worry! If you're bored and out of options, here are 15 perfectly appropriate horror movies to enjoy during your self-isolation.

Note: This list is limited to movies categorized as horror/thriller, so don't expect to see movies like Outbreak or Contagion on this list.

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15) Magic (1978)

This might seem like an unusual choice, but hear me out. In Richard Attenborough's Magic, a ventriloquist on the brink of securing his own television show suddenly gets cold feet and secludes himself in the mountains. He tells his agent he's afraid of success, but really, he just doesn't want to take the medical exam, fearful his agent and the rest of the world will learn he has severe mental issues. If movies about disease and viral plagues hit a little too close to home for now, this underseen slice of self-isolation is a great alternative.

The Shining Blu Ray
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14) The Shining (1980)

The Shining is a perfect example of what happens when you spend too much time with your family. It follows Jack Torrance, an aspiring writer who takes his wife and son to an isolated hotel in the Rockies after he's hired as the off-season caretaker. He thinks this will be a good opportunity to get some writing done, but really, it's the perfect foundation for him to slip slowly into insanity.

The Evil Dead Blu Ray
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13) The Evil Dead (1979)

It's the ultimate "cabin in the woods" film. So, if you and your closest friends have decided to sequester yourselves for some fun like the folks in this movie, here's a safety tip: Don't read aloud from any strange books. Otherwise you'll be dealing with a body-jumping evil the likes you've never seen.

Final Destination Blu Ray
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12) Final Destination (2000)

Really? Final Destination? OK, Karen, before you get the manager, let me tell you why this is a good choice. First, it just celebrated its 20th anniversary on March 17th. Second, a sequel has been announced that will reportedly focus on the world of first responders (and apparently it'll change the way we look at revolving doors). Finally, remember the scene where Devon Sawa's character isolates himself in a remote cabin so Death won't get him? He certainly does.

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The Crazies Blu Ray
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11) The Crazies (2010)

Residents of a small town in Iowa begin to exhibit strange behaviors. And I don't mean strange like hoarding toilet paper because of a respiratory virus. Strange as in standing around absent-minded, then randomly going off in violent outbursts. Basically, it's Black Friday without the sales.

The Rec Collection Blu Ray
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10) REC (2007) / Quarantine (2008)

A news reporter, her cameraman, and some firefighters find themselves quarantined to an apartment building after the residents start to go batshit crazy. The found footage angle is a huge benefit to both the original film ([REC]) and its American remake (Quarantine). By putting us behind the camera, it makes us feel like our own lives depend on the actions of the characters.

Slither Blu Ray Small
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9) Slither (2006)

Listen, any great comedian will tell you, the best jokes stem from sadness and tragedy. And if there's any way we're going to see our way to the other side of being isolated, it's with laughter. And Slither, about mutant slugs that turn a small town's residents into mindless zombies, is hands down one of the funniest horror movies you'll ever see. Laugh. It's okay.

Cabin Fever Blu Ray
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8) Cabin Fever (2003)

In Cabin Fever, some college graduates staying in a cabin begin to fall victim to a flesh-eating virus. Scary, right? Here's something scarier: This whole movie happened because the director experienced something similar while vacationing in Iceland (good news: it was just a skin infection).

10 Cloverfield Lane Blu Ray
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7) 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

We all got to see the gradual rise of the coronavirus that's left us quarantined. But what if we just woke up from a coma and had to trust the word of a stranger telling us about it? Would you believe them and stay put? That's basically what happens in 10 Cloverfield Lane, an effective pyschological horror film that plays with distrust, cabin fever, and gaslighting.

I Am Legend Blu Ray
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6) I Am Legend (2007)

Imagine being the only person on the planet to survive a pandemic. It's just you and your dog. Oh, and the millions of infected people trying to kill you every night. This one just screams "feel-good movie," doesn't it?

The Ruins Blu Ray
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5) The Ruins (2008)

Based on the novel by Scott Smith, this gruesome tale concerns a group of Americans vacationing in Mexico who become quarantined to an archaeological dig site by the local Mayans. But why won't the Mayans let them leave? Without giving too much away, let's just say the Americans have touched something on the mound that's now infected them all. And the Mayans will do anything to contain it.

Body Snatchers Blu Ray
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4) Body Snatchers (1993)

Jack Finney's novel The Body Snatchers has seen many adaptations, but it's this forgotten early '90s rendition that's always stuck with me. Maybe it's the way people are cloned via pasta noodles. Maybe it's because this was the first movie I remember seeing a child die. Either way, it's a fun take on a universally scary idea.

28 Days Later Blu Ray
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3) 28 Days Later (2002) / 28 Weeks Later (2007)

Outside of non-horror movies Outbreak and Contagion, 28 Days Later is probably one of the first movies you expected to be on this list. It's that successful in its portrayal of life following a viral plague. Its sequel, 28 Weeks Later, is a worthy follow-up that continues the story of the military trying to secure an area for survivors to repopulate and start anew. But like any horror movie, not everything goes according to plan. With everything going on today, can a 28 Months Later be expected in the near future?

The Thing Blu Ray
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2) The Thing (1982)

The quintessential "pointing fingers" thriller. American researchers in Antarctica are systematically taken over by an alien virus. Anyone could have it, but who? The Thing bombed when it was initially released but has since gained a cult following and classic status. Interestingly, the film was released just a couple weeks after Spielberg's mega-hit E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, so while the subject matter clearly interested the masses, it appears audiences just wanted something a little more optimistic at the time.

Night Of The Living Dead Blu Ray
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1) Romero's "Dead" Franchise (1968-2009)

This one's a no-brainer and the perfect choice for binge viewing.

Start with George Romero's 1968 black and white classic, Night of the Living Dead, where a brother and sister's annual trip to place flowers on a cemetery plot turns into a race for survival as hoards of the flesh-eating dead rise from their graves. The lone survivor of the duo reaches a farmhouse where others have taken shelter. And it's these strangers who unknowingly pose a bigger danger than the impending threat outside. The film's nihilistic portrayal of what people will do out of instinct to survive is raw and unmatched.

Then follow up Night with Dawn of the Dead, where we find out how quickly the epidemic has spread in just a few weeks. Some survivors decide to hole themselves up in a shopping mall, where even in the middle of an apocalyptic event, our living heroes can't help but admire "all the great stuff" right at their fingertips. It's a perfect nod to consumerism's grasp on America, even when it shouldn't matter.

And then there's Day of the Dead, where the dead now outnumber humans 400,000 to 1. We follow the day-to-day activities of a group of survivors who have barricaded themselves in an underground military bunker. Romero himself described the film as a "...tragedy about how a lack of human communication causes chaos and collapse even in this small little pie slice of society."

Finally, in Land of the Dead, the division between the dead and the living becomes more of a division of class and power, with the wealthy residing in a luxury highrise skyscraper called Fiddler's Green, and the impoverished living at their feet in the slums of Pittsburgh. In a timely paradox, a Trump-like ruler sits at the throne of Fiddler's Green, buying his way out of trouble and using his blue-collar inferiors to get what he wants.

And, while not official sequels (but still part of the same universe), you can check out Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead, which separately touch on themes of tribalism and society's desire to stay relevant in the age of social media.

Zombies are everywhere, but no one did them like Romero.


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