Ewan Gleadow

Movie Review: Shadow in the Cloud

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Copyright: Vertical Entertainment

 

What lurks deep below in the darkness of the ocean scares me far more than what soars high in the one singular cloud on offer here.

Shadow in the Cloud, which is a collective noun and script overhaul away from being competent, is a surprisingly brief action horror. Set to the backdrop of the Second World War, a savvy pilot, Maude Garrett (Chloë Grace Moretz) makes her way from A to B in the hopes of delivering some vital documents. Whilst flying high in the sky, she and her crew of pilots come across monsters of the sky, bat-like creatures that resemble the monstrous horror found in that one Treehouse of Horror episode of The Simpsons.

In fact, Shadow in the Cloud is just a horribly elongated version of such a premise.

With Moretz at the core of this one, you’d expect a vital performance that taps into her talent. No such luck with this one, Moretz isn’t out of her depth, but doesn’t adapt to the period her character finds herself in.

A shame, too, since most of the film is spent isolated in a gunner turret with Moretz, who communicates with the rest of the cast over the radio. With such a reliance on dialogue, you’d hope for something a bit more inspired or engaging but, sadly, it’s not to be, and the film finds itself in a slump of novel assertations made better, more strongly and more proudly by films from years before.

Roseanne Liang doesn’t offer anything here that couldn’t be displayed by anyone else. Her attempts at bringing together a short and sweet bit of high-flying horror flag rapidly.

A weird synth note soundtrack is paired with a sleek iconography that will elicit the heroes of World War Two without much trouble. Awful cinematography and a range of poor special effects are the icing on this horribly dated cake, the lack of quality overall startling.

Everything about this film reeks of low-budget horrors, but the draw of leading cast members and the slick and predictable style of storytelling has all the hallmarks of a project too scared to take even the slightest risk.

A film that ruins the design and twist of its monster with a campy opening animation piece is not only a jarring way of introducing us to the film, but one of the moments highlighting just how ineffective a film this really is.

Shadow in the Cloud has not a remnant of quality to it, an overwhelmingly turgid piece stocked up with nonsense and cliché. Clumsy characters may keep the skies safe, but avoiding this bland nonsense will keep your screen safe from garbage content shovelled out without any real care or concern for what its audience may think of it.

Simply awful, there’s nothing more to be found in a film that manages to make it over the hour mark thanks to plodding nonsense and a hefty dose of credits.