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  • Pop! Pour! Review

Are There Too Many COVID Movies?

By Matt Chieco

Global pandemics have often served as subjects for many films, but now they hit too close to home. The year 2020 was undeniably challenging for all of us. With COVID-19 at the forefront, Hollywood faced a profound dilemma. Should they incorporate the pandemic into their narratives, or should they pretend it doesn't exist?

While several television shows tackled COVID head-on, a subtle trend emerged in the world of cinema. Amidst ramping up productions, filmmakers seized the unique opportunity presented by quarantine to conceive new movie ideas. Many of these concepts revolved around the pandemic, and by mid-2020, these pandemic-related movies began to see release.

The question that lingers in my mind is: When can I stop encountering COVID at every turn? It's in the news, it's a part of my personal life, and for many individuals, movies serve as an escape from the harsh reality. Naturally, there are exceptions, but there's only so much pandemic-related content that a person (such as myself) can endure.

Ultimately, the decisive factor is rather straightforward: Does the audience desire it? While everyone might wish to banish COVID-19 from existence, the hunger for content remains insatiable, and these movies are contributing to the ever-expanding libraries of streaming platforms.

As of now, there have been around seven movies released that center around the theme of COVID-19: 'Borat Subsequent Moviefilm' on Prime Video, 'Coastal Elites' on HBO Max, 'Host' on Shudder, 'Corona: Fear Is a Virus,' 'Corona Zombies,' 'Songbird' available for PVOD, and most recently, 'Locked Down,' starring Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor, released on January 14th on HBO Max.

I don't believe that films about COVID-19 are stifling creativity. However, if there's demand, it will be supplied (as studios are driven by profit motives). Hopefully, a time will come when pandemic-related movies are limited to documentaries and science fiction.

'Locked Down' is currently available for streaming on HBO Max.

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