Contagion in the 21st Century

Contagion is the dominant horror of the 21st century, an era marked by epidemics of terror, war, and economic crisis. Just as atomic anxiety infused Cold War-era pop culture, fear of contagion dominates recent pop culture in the form of apocalyptic zombie plagues, viral pandemics, infectious vampires, parasitized bodies, and microbe-caused mutations.

The US release of Steven Soderbergh’s new thriller Contagion triggered this excellent article on how the popularity of zombies, vampires, and contagion thrillers reflect 21st-century public concerns in a way that contemporary drama fails to match.

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