New science thriller movie: CONTAGION (Sept. 2011)

Did you think the killer virus story was dead?  Repeated so many times, in so many ways, that no one would invest in a big-budget movie about another plague or pandemic?

Think again.  A trailer has just been released for a new science thriller movie CONTAGION which will be in theaters in September.  It features an all-star cast (Lawrence Fishburne, Sanaa Lathan, Matt Damon, John Hawkes, Kate Winslet, Jennifer Ehle, Bryan Cranston, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Elliott Gould; directed by Steven Soderbergh) and is generating a lot of buzz.

We science/medical thriller fans know that plagues and pandemics are about the scariest thing out there because they are truly possible, even likely.  Stories about the terror and gore of a great killer germ have been the stuff of popular literature at least since Daniel Defoe published his fictionalized Journal of the Plague Year in 1722.  CONTAGION’s success will depend not on its tried-and-true subject material, but whether or not they made a good movie.

(By the way, killer virus stories tend to fall in one of two categories: the apocalyptic virus tale, in which the virus rampages and the story revolves around survival; and the ticking clock virus tale, in which a world-changing epidemic is threatened, imminent, or in its early stages and the heroes must stop it in its tracks.  From the trailer, CONTAGION looks to be more of the former.)

If you plan to see CONTAGION, you should read:
The Things that Keep Us Here
by Carla Buckley

Thanks for the tip, Vati!
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3 Responses to New science thriller movie: CONTAGION (Sept. 2011)

  1. Amy says:

    As far as I can tell from the preview, no zombies. They stick to the realistic horrors of a deadly airborne infection and the concomitant societal breakdown. The big question in my mind is how will they end the film. Most of these kinds of virus stories either end with the main characters finding a temporary or hopeful shelter or accomplishing some goal (such as a reunion) while the disaster continues. The ones that ignore scientific reality generally introduce a miracle cure.

    Haven’t heard of the Doomsday Book but sounds interesting. Probably too SF for me to review here. (Do the time travelers take some antibiotics with them?)

    • Lesa says:

      Doomsday Book is by Connie Willis and it is in the sci/fi genre but since it isn’t space or aliens it didn’t seem too sci/fi to me. Time travelers are innoculated before they travel back in time but don’t take antibiotics with them. An epidemic starts in the present just after the time traveler goes back in time– the book switches back and forth between both times with all the societal breakdowns. You might enjoy reading it even if it couldn’t be reviewed here.

  2. Lesa says:

    Sounds good. I like killer virus movies– and you are right. they are scary because they could be real. But I sure hope zombies aren’t involved. I’m tired of zombies.

    Did you ever read the Doomsday Book– about time travel back to the time of the plague? I read it recently and really liked it.

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