Dir. Roseanne Liang
Reviewer. Martyn Wakefield
SHADOW IN THE CLOUD may on the surface sound like a gritty World War drama with monsters but Roseanne Liang's movie is much more fun than that. While contained within there are tones of a serious nature the film never stays sober enough to stick to it and it's a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, the 82 minute runtime goes by fast however the pace of the film goes up and down like a Welsh country skyline. Despite it's faults, it's never dull and huge praise to Liang for keeping the tone light. What GREMLINS did for Christmas, SHADOW IN THE CLOUD does for War movies.
Chloë Grace Moretz plays Maude, a female pilot who unexpectedly catches a ride in a mans world to deliver top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress however not all goes to plan when something unexpected also joins the flight.
The script sets back to the setting of 1943 with the crew abandoning Maude's mission and storing her in the hold of the plane. Their conversations push the audience to really root for Moretz character especially to see how relations between men and women have (hopefully) changed for the better but cleverly, most of the drama happens between the isolation of Maude's undercarriage and the radiowaves of the pilot's deck which not only creates a very claustrophobic experience, but also gives a nervous predictability to what is happening with only the sound of the radio giving away clues. Playing for the most part like an aerial version of PONTYPOOL.
The tone does change throughout and the synthetic soundtrack feels out of place with the timeframe yet at the same time carries the film's chaotic b-movie feel. Along with the beast that is amidst the flight's uninvited crew, adds some terror to the ride albeit not drawing too much away from the fun rush of cat-and-mouse for the monster which comes to a very pleasing conclusion when Moretz goes full PREDATOR Arnie with the monster.
There's a lot to fault from a film making perspective however where SHADOW IN THE CLOUD succeeds is it's ability to always remain fun and for that reason, we can't recommend this film enough for a delicious late night snack. Just don't eat after midnight.