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The Underrated Chloe Grace Moretz War Movie You Can Catch On Hulu

In the 1963 "Twilight Zone" episode "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," William Shatner sees a gremlin on the wing of a commercial airline attempting to destroy the plan, but no one will believe him. In the 1981 classic sci-fi animated film "Heavy Metal" there's a short called "B-17" which focuses on a World War II bomber pilot attempting to escape his plane after a mysterious object called the Loc-Nar reanimates all the dead soldiers into bloodthirsty zombies. And if those two harrowing short stories had a child, it would almost certainly be the Chloë Grace Moretz 2021 war movie "Shadow in the Cloud." 

"Shadow in the Cloud" is based on a short script from Max Landis that was ultimately taken over by director Roseanne Liang. The film is about Maude Garrett, a soldier on a secret mission who finds herself the unwelcome female member of the Fool's Errand — an all male B-17 crew. Garrett has precious cargo with her, but rather than finding herself able to mind it for the flight, she instead finds herself locked up in the plane's gun turret — and that's where she runs afoul of a gremlin and things really go sideways.

"Shadow in the Cloud" is streaming on Hulu now, so let's go over why this little slice of science fiction horror might be something you want to check out.

There's someone on the gun turret! Some....thing!

While a lot of people have heard of gremlins either from the Joe Dante movies or "The Twilight Zone," they're actually creatures of folklore which date back to the 1920s (via HistoryNet). Gremlins were feared for the dangerous and mischievous acts on war planes, and that became especially true after children's author Roald Dahl wrote his story "The Gremlins," about creatures living in RAF fighters, which was published in 1943.

War, as a concept, is big and unwieldy. And while there are many works of fiction which try to capture the scope of war, sometimes the better option is to explore war through the tightest, most claustrophobic lens possible. That's the kind of story "Shadow in the Cloud" is. Before you add war to the mix, Maude Garrett is already a woman in a mysterious and intense situation. Without giving it away, Maude is trying to escape her current circumstance, and that is made all the more dangerous as a direct result of war. 

"Shadow in the Cloud" uses war to explore how quickly basic, human niceties go out the window once the heat is on. The soldiers aboard the Fool's Errand use superstition — namely, the idea that a woman being on board with them is bad luck — as an excuse to take out all the hostility they feel toward women in general in their daily lives. And while Maude is just trying to get herself to a better situation, she finds herself having to fend off attacks, both human and supernatural.

What makes "Shadow in the Cloud" fun is that it takes these big ideas and uses the tension of a gun turret to explore what human beings can do when lives are on the line. The film gets pretty wild and the way it resolves itself has to be seen to be believed.

"Shadow in the Cloud" is streaming on Hulu now.