starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Beulah Koae, Taylor John Smith, Nick Robinson
written by Max Landis and Roseanne Liang
directed by Roseanne Liang
by Walter Chaw Roseanne Liang's Shadow in the Cloud opens with a vintage training cartoon for WWII flyboys about the dangers of gremlins clogging their bombers' works, indicating that whatever this film seems like it's going to be about, it's going to have a monster in it. And it's inevitable, once you know that, for you to think about how one of the episodes recreated for Twilight Zone: The Movie was "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet," in which a gremlin on the wing of a plane terrorizes a nervous flier. And then how John Landis co-directed that film (though not that segment) and, through unimaginable carelessness compounded by his unfettered ego and well-documented lack of a moral compass, instructed a helicopter pilot to fly too low over illegal pyrotechnics, resulting in the chopper's crash and the brutal death of leading man Vic Morrow and child actors Myca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Yi Chen. Child actors who shouldn't have been working at that time of night due to labour laws, as it happens, but, shhh!: an artiste is at work. It's all on video (Zapruder-esque footage of the crash aired multiple times on the 6 o'clock news), there was a trial with damning testimony, the film's producers--including Steven Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy--fled the country and refused to testify (because, in Spielberg's case, he was "too important" to do so (the judge agreed)), and then, the world the way that it is, Landis got off. He even went to Morrow's funeral uninvited to spew some blubbery words, and now, in the late-Leni Reifenstahl phase of his career, he's treated like an elder statesman allowed to reframe his legacy. Let me help you with that. His legacy is three things, each of them true: he is the director of An American Werewolf in London and a couple of obnoxious comedies people like for some reason; he is a murderer; and he is the father of one of the all-too-predictably worst people on the planet.