The coronavirus pandemic is has been the nation's biggest concern over the past few weeks, and for anyone interested in indulging in some mass infection fiction, we have all the details on how to stream the 1995 film Outbreak. Netflix subscribers who are interested in checking out the flick are in luck, as it is currently available on the streaming service. Notably, the plot of the film is about a virus that mutates into an airborne influenza-like illness, and begins killing people.
While it may sound like a horror film, the movie is better defined as a medical thriller, as it focuses on a team of scientists who are racing against the clock to find a cure, while military officials consider more permanent solutions.
The film was written by Laurence Dworet and Robert Roy Pool, and is actually based on the Richard Preston nonfiction book The Hot Zone, which is said to be "about the origins and incidents involving viral hemorrhagic fevers, particularly ebolaviruses and marburgviruses."
Outbreak was directed by Wolfgang Petersen, who had previously been nominated for two Academy Awards for the 1981 German submarine war film, Das Boot. He would later go on to direct the iconic films Air Force One, The Perfect Storm and Troy.
While Outbreak was a bit divisive among film critics, the legendary Roger Ebert awarded it three-and-a-half out of four stars, calling its plot "one of the great scare stories of our time, the notion that deep in the uncharted rain forests, deadly diseases are lurking, and if they ever escape their jungle homes and enter the human bloodstream, there will be a new plague the likes of which we have never seen."
Additionally, Washington Post critic Rita Kempley praised the film, writing, "Outbreak is an absolute hoot thanks primarily to director Wolfgang Petersen's rabid pacing and the great care he brings to setting up the story and its probability."
For those streamers who want to double up on terrifying virus outbreak stories, Netflix also has the 2016 based-on-true-events film 93 Days, which is about a vicious ebola outbreak in Lagos.
Finally, fans of more non-fiction fare might enjoy the new Netflix docu-series Pandemic, which quite literally gives viewers an insight in the world of doctors and scientists working to fight influenza viruses.