Don’t struggle with self-isolation, get in the mood for nights in with these must-watch doomsday movies.
Rabat – I miss my evening walks. I miss my spicy chai lattes with friends. And I miss staying home because I want to, not because I was told to.
I even miss the tea my colleague Amine makes. But, until things are safe for everyone, the novel coronavirus means a lot of duvet-days as we stay home in self-isolation, so, it’s time to get used to cosy nights-in and coronavirus film-fests.
Rather than try to find new ways to keep ourselves entertained, my family and I decided to go with the flow and indulge the “pre-apocalyptic” atmosphere.
So, every night we gather around for a doomsday movie. When your work or school day is over, you too, join us to distract yourself from reality with an apocalypse themed film-fest.
- Contagion (WB – 2011):
Fights over toilet paper at the supermarket and international travel bans that have surfaced with the novel coronavirus pandemic will seem a little too familiar when you watch “Contagion.” The panic, the science, the charlatans, and the deaths from a deadly virus are all there. Most sci-fi movies feel a little too dystopian but ”Contagion” is hyperbolically spot on (a little too coincidental for me!).
- Chernobyl (HBO – 2019):
“Chernobyl” the mini-series is based on the real story of “Chernobyl” the nuclear power plant. Chernobyl was one of the worst man-made catastrophes and the most devastating nuclear power explosion the world has ever witnessed.
The catastrophe created such havoc that about three and a half decades later the area is still labeled a dead zone.
There is no evil character who wants to rule the world in this series. It’s all down to the little mistakes of exhausted plant workers; the little lies of middle managers who are scared of losing their jobs; the little self-denials of policy makers who want to avoid international embarrassment. Until the many little things lead to big sordid implications.
As external viewers, we judge the characters, we assume that we would know and do better, but would we really?
The best part is it’s a mini-series so you won’t have to think about what to watch for five episodes.
- Gerald’s Game (Netflix – 2017):
This is not a family movie, I repeat this is not a family movie. If you watch it with your mom, or worse with your dad, you are in for the awkwardness of your life.
This movie is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, while I am more of a J.K. Rowling fan than a Stephen King junky, as a lover of anything related to human behavior, I give “Gerald’s Game” a 9/10.
The movie is not so much apocalyptic as it is about individual survival. If you want to dramatize being stuck at home during confinement, “Gerald’s Game” will scratch that itch to satisfaction. The movie virtually takes place in one bedroom, to force viewers to focus on the details and nuances.
You think home confinement is bad? Try being chained to your bed for days with death looming around you.
- 28 Weeks Later (20th Century Fox – 2007)
I am not into zombies, robots, or anything “too sci-fi.” I had even contemplated skipping movie night when my sister suggested watching “28 Weeks Later,” before I eventually agreed to take one for the team.
The plot follows, without spoiling it, a brother and sister who attempt saving their mother from a virus-infected zone in Britain and in doing so they introduce the virus to a safe area. The story is touching and vibrant, but the real moral of the story, if you ask me, is never take quarantine lightly! On this note, stay home.
“28 weeks Later” is the sequel to “28 Days Later,” a film that received positive reviews.
- Outbreak (1995 – WB)
Many miseries, fictional and real, could have been avoided had decision makers just listened to scientists. “Outbreak,” just like “Chernobyl,” is yet another reminder of the fact. The story is particularly similar to that of the novel coronavirus pandemic, in the sense that the spread could have been prevented had China not stifled chinese doctors when they warned about the then potential spread.
The movie has also a reputable cast, including, but not only, Morgan Freeman and Dustin Hoffman.
In case you haven’t noticed a trend in the above list, my family and I delight in movies that push us to wonder deep down what our reactions would be in specific scenarios.
So, by all means join us, entertain yourself with these movies. Enjoy the quality time with your loved ones, but then pause to think about how it all went wrong because of tiny little mistakes. Ponder on how lack of action, carelessness, and even well-intended actions brought carnage upon the world.
Perhaps safety and health measures might not seem so silly after all.