Opening in limited theatrical release today, Contracted follows a young woman named Samantha (Najarra Townsend), who gets a bit too wild (and intimate) with a stranger at a party. She knows it was a mistake, but then she starts to suffer some strange physical ailments. To her horror, she discovers that she has contracted something far worse -- and more immediately life threatening -- than a sexually transmitted disease.
It's the latest, icky, gory and disturbing horror disease, of which we've seen plenty in the past 10 years or so, most of which turn apocalyptic on a worldwide scale.
Resident Evil (2002)
The Umbrella Corporation is bent on world domination by any means necessary. As part of its mission, it develops weapons for the military, an arsenal that includes biological and chemical agents. One virus in particular proves more deadly than the rest, producing a disease that has a horrid effect and can spread very, very quickly.
28 Days Later… (2002)
They had good intentions, those animal activists did, but in their efforts to free the chimpanzees used for medical testing and call attention to the plight of all such animals, the activists unintentionally unleashed a virus that transformed the world into a frightening, mostly empty jungle, peopled by voracious monsters who somehow can walk very, very fast.
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
If you thought the zombies in those other modern zombie movies were fast, you haven't seen Zack Snyder's take on the subgenre, in which the dead sprint like they're in the Olympics. And it's all because of a disease with a 100% mortality rate that converts its victims into hungry, hungry dead people.
You don't need to die to turn into a murderous monster in this Spanish-language thriller. Once infected by the virus, the disease spreads through the body at a rate determined by blood type. Then, all bets are off, and the victim is compelled toward violent behavior that inevitably leads to death.
I Am Legend (2007)
Once again, good and honorable intentions are foiled. In the latest translation of Richard Matheson's novel to the big screen, a doctor enjoys success by tampering with a virus genetically. The doctor is searching for a cure for cancer, but the virus mutates and spreads, converting most of the human race into vampire-ish monsters with anger issues.
Four young people seek refuge from a worldwide epidemic. Rather than the decay of the flesh, the film explores the erosion of the human spirit, which is the true victim of the disease. But that doesn't mean the movie lacks entirely for photographic evidence of what happens to those who catch the deadly virus.
The Crazies (2010)
Remaking George A. Romero's berserk original, the new version is more overtly and traditionally horror filled, tracking the increasingly disturbing behavior by the good citizens of a small community in Iowa. What is making everyone lose their minds? Obviously, it's some kind of disease. But do those soldiers in hazmat suits really care?
World War Z (2013)
Before anyone knows why it has happened, the world is infected with a fast-acting disease that almost instantly transforms its victims into zombies. The infection's spread through the body can be halted, but only by drastic amputation. There must be a better way! If only we had someone like Brad Pitt to help us cure this horrible horror disease…