Finally got around to seeing this from my list of movies I wanted to see last year. I feel like I am one of the few people who liked the original Cloverfield so I was pretty stoked to see what this one offered. It was...different.
The story follows Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Michelle. She leaves her boyfriend/fiance and gets into a car wreck in the boonies of Louisiana. She awakens in a cell type room with no windows and finds herself the prisoner of John Goodman. Goodman explains that the end of the world is happening outside the bunker they are in. Someone has attacked and now the air is contaminated, deadly to anyone outside. He says they have to wait two years before the air clears. Michelle, as you can imagine, is not psyched to hear this. The first act is her struggling to escape Howard (Goodman) with the occasional help of Emmett, a fellow survivor who helped Howard build the shelter. By the end of act one, Michelle is convinced something messed up is happening outside and then the real horror begins.
This three hander is deftly played on all sides. As Michelle is our audience surrogate, we don't know who to trust and to what extent. Howard seems to be in mourning over the loss of his daughter, but there is something creepy about it, too. The uneasy alliance all three build over time is mesmerizing to watch but, of course, things go south. I won't say anything about the main plot but you will eventually get to see what is going on outside the bunker and that is somehow even batshit crazier than what is happening inside the bunker.
Besides one fantastical element, this movie has no connection to the original Cloverfield. Someone suggested that this might become a series like The Twilight Zone. Between watching this and Split recently, it did feel very Shylamanish. This isn't going to change your world or offer any profound truths but there are worse ways to spend two hours. I would give this a C+.