As an epidemic of a lethal airborne virus - that kills within days - rapidly grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself.
During the past decade, we have lived through the terror caused by SARS and H1N1. Society is now acutely aware of the dangers posed by tiny little invaders that we cannot even see. The threat of another Black Plague looms over everyone as we become even more aware of how microorganisms work to threaten society as we know it. This parental movie guide found that Contagion is more than just another movie about a pandemic. It is a fictional documentary that was classed as science fiction.
The Contagion movie begins on Day 2 of an outbreak of a new virus that spreads rapidly, quickly overtaking the population and destroying life, as we know it. The more frightening part of the movie is that is it possible. The element of the unknown is what this family movie guide makes it have the most impact on the audience. The content of the Contagion movie is disturbing, and it was meant to be. For that reason, the Contagion movie is not recommended for the very young, or for adults that are sensitive to this type of material.
In 1995, the movie Outbreak posed a similar scenario. Only the writers of Contagion have more research and some real scenarios to incorporate, making the presentation of the circumstances in the movie very realistic. The unknown is the monster in this movie. Every time a character coughs or sneezes, it makes the audience wonder if they will be the next victim of the deadly virus. If someone in the movie theater coughs or sneezes, everyone else will wonder if it is only a cold after seeing this movie.
By the end of the movie, people begin to act in self-preservation mode. A father will not allow his daughter out of the house. Healthcare workers refuse to come to work. Is this as far-fetched as we might think? I believe the Contagion movie did one thing right; it portrayed human nature realistically. The movie shows many segments of society as they might act in the face of a real unknown threat.
Frightening? Yes, the Contagion movie was frightening. It plays on our deepest and darkest fears. The movie shows people in their last moments of life. It shows dead people in disturbing and grotesque positions. People become self-serving and ruthless as the disease progresses. People seem fine and then suddenly are gone in the next 15 minutes. It presents the reality that we all do not know when our time is up. This is more of a psychodrama, but there are a few grotesque scenes of people succumbing to the disease. The Contagion movie deals very heavily with the themes of life, death, grief, and fear.
This family movie review does not consider it to be appropriate for children under 13, more for its disturbing content than anything else. As a matter of fact, this is a disturbing movie for adults. Whether your older children should see it or not depend on their individual sensitivity and reactions to this type of content. After seeing the Contagion movie, tell us what you think on the Parental Guide Facebook page. Do you think this scenario is possible, or is it really just science fiction?