Maybe Zack Snyder was on to something…
Though his Army of the Dead shies away from drawing explicit connections between zombies and viruses, a recent rewatch of David Cronenberg’s Rabid — courtesy of IFC Center’s current “video nasties” series — inspired a prediction for the years ahead:
Expect a resurgence of zombie and/or vampire movies, serving as exaggerated (…or are they?! DUN DUN DUN) allegories for Life During Covid.
The central virus in Rabid operates in a nether region between zombies and vampires, and the movie’s overrun with Covid-buzzwords too numerous to list here. Boogeymen have served many purposes throughout cinema history, and they’ve long represented a roundabout way to wrestle with our deepest fears.
I’m sure we’ll get a bevy of movies that explore every dimension of the horror that was 2020 directly, but blasting the subject through a skewed genre prism can probe what we’d prefer to remain in our collective unconscious.
Also, in more pragmatic terms, horror movies pose a safer commercial bet from a theatrical perspective right now.