In the award winning 'The Shadow in the Cloud' by Andy Crabb, a World War II spy pilot and CIA agent is sent to secretly perform a surveillance operation over North Africa in support of America's efforts in the war effort. While flying a B-17 Flying Fortress high overhead, an unknown female WWII fighter pilot experiences an ominous presence above the horizon. The ominous figure suddenly jumps from the sky and disappears into the horizon. Just as the woman crumbles emotionally in shock, her associate who is flying the plane alongside her has his own idea of what might have happened while she was flying over the clouds.
This movie isn't just a great action movie filled with laser blast action and top notch drama. It also works as a psychological thriller that keeps the reader mentally engaged throughout the entire movie. What makes this movie so good is the way it builds anticipation for the second half of the movie. As the female fighter is flying over the Mediterranean Sea toward England, we are introduced to the psychological consequences of an aerial attack on England. We get to see the psychological impact of the attack will have on the enemy and how it may change the way the world views Britain and the United States if such an attack were to occur.
During the second half of the movie, the character of Baron Reinhold flies the B-17 Flying Fortress into enemy territory and encounters a strange shadow that suddenly enters the plane and causes heavy casualties including a number of women who are killed in the attack. With Baron Reinhold badly injured and misses most of the action, the other crew members take heavy damage as well but manage to hold on long enough to surrender the plane. The mysterious figure that appears out of the blackness then takes Reinhold to a secret location and leads him through a tunnel to another area where the actual Gremlins are located. This area is guarded by three Gremlins and two Shadow People who want to use the Gremlins against Reinhold.
During this time, Reinhold tries to communicate with the other people who have fallen to the shadow but each person tells a different version of what happened. The Gremlins disguise themselves as other characters and the movie becomes about whether or not Reinhold can trust these people. Eventually he does, and they help him rescue the real gremlin, though he wounds his ankle in the process. He is then taken to a secret location where the real Gremlins await him. These Gremlins are stronger than the average gremlin and he must defeat them in order to escape.
The premise of the movie is very interesting and original, though it can be considered a sequel to the original Dr. Gremlins movie. It just borrows some ideas and twists the original Gremlins could not. The film has a more dark, twisted feel than its predecessor and follows a different plot line. Instead of exploring the mystery behind the shadow, it takes place purely on whether or not Reinhold can trust these people. This conflict makes the entire movie less centered on the mystery of how and why the Gremlins took up residence in his home in the first place.
Despite being a more serious movie, Shadow in the Cloud does have a lot of fun characters. Campbell is a likable enough lead character that made watching the movie more enjoyable for me. Moretz is also a great addition to the cast. Her hairstyle is a constant reminder of her gregarious personality and it is always cute when she's in a good mood. The music fits the story and blends into the background quite nicely. Overall, this is a decent production that highlights more on the mystery of how and why the Gremlins came to earth rather than their humor.