Set during WWII, Captain Maude Garret (Chloe Grace Moretz) is given urgent orders to hitch a ride on a B-17 bomber plane and a mysterious cargo package to carry. Her orders also include protecting the box and not allowing anyone on board the flight to open it at all costs. As she boards the plane, the crew are not overly pleased with the captain’s last-minute orders and the mysterious item she brings. To them, she is simply an inconvenience.
The crew eventually accept that Captain Maude is hitching a ride, but there is little to no space on the flight. She has no choice but to secure herself in a gunner’s seat, which looks like an enormous transparent dome underneath the aeroplane. With no other options, she accepts, puts on a seatbelt and a headset allowing her to communicate with the crew. The crew chat and talk about their newest passenger. We soon learn the crew are pretty sexist and rude, even trying to belittle her for being a female captain and doubting her skills. Despite all the chatter, Captain Maude soon finds something alarming on board the flight. As she reports it, the crew laugh it off and think she is simply making it up. But little do they know; there are gremlins aboard with a thirst to kill and destroy. Now it is up to Captain Maude Garrett to fight the gremlins and save the crew, along with keeping the mysterious package safe and secure.
As a plot, Shadow in the Cloud is generally set in one location for most of the film, but this changes dramatically and unexpectedly in the third act. Watching Captain Maude talking to the crew via radio is not overly exciting. Also, because she is talking to multiple characters, it can be a little tricky to understand who she is speaking with. Thankfully, the film heightens unexpectedly when strange and bizarre creatures appear on the screen.
The introduction of Gremlins into this film is quite exciting, but because it is another sub-plot to a movie that already had a mystery, to begin with, the entire film feels crammed. Captain Maude is already dealing with her secret mission, an impolite crew and now gremlins. The reasoning of how and why the gremlins came to be on the same flight is never explained; they are just here (which is rather annoying and lazy!).
Visually, this film delivers. While many the film has been creating using green screen, there is a fun level of creativity and style I found rather pleasing. The film’s soundtrack feels very retro, thanks to the use of classic synth sounds. For the most part, I felt the soundtrack was also fun and generally fitting. The film’s sound effects are outstanding, and this was easily the biggest highlight of the film altogether, making the film demo worthy, especially on blu-ray.
Overall, while I enjoyed the film’s creative visuals and the outstanding audio track, the film’s plot has pretty slow moments, and it is crammed with far too many subplots. Sure, some moments are considered brainless popcorn entertainment, but the results are indeed mixed for me with all the ingredients.
Shadow in the Cloud (2020) is Available on Blu-ray & DVD from April 14th!