Shadow in the Cloud is like any other movie from the past few decades that has also become popular on the big screen. This is a movie about man versus nature, man against the end-of-the-world scenario, a man facing off against an all knowing and powerful entity that is looking to wipe out humanity and prevent the next human from living. In some ways, the movie does live up to the hype surrounding it, as it offers a pretty intense scene of a near-end encounter between man and nature, with nature looking on with hatred and disgust. There are a number of great supporting characters in this movie as well, a couple who each have their own specialty in dealing with the creatures of the night. The combination of these fantastic characters, and the excellent special effects make this a very entertaining movie from start to finish and one worth catching if you happen to catch it around Halloween.
Shadow in the Cloud follows the exploits of Private James Mason, who lives out in the back country of New Zealand. He works as a tour guide, and although he has a good relationship with his own brother Harry (James Patterson), he is also close friends with another local called Max (Dan Butler), who happens to also be an expert on paranormal matters. As the movie goes on, Max becomes more suspicious of what is going on in his own life, particularly when one night he goes out camping and comes back with a woman named Ariel (Rooney Mara). Within a matter of minutes, the two are engaged in a passionate and intimate encounter that will change both of their lives forever.
Although it is already fast becoming one of the biggest films of the year, Shadow in the Cloud definitely does not dive into its storyline too quickly, which is a real shame considering how gripping and thrilling the movie really is. There is a great deal of build up throughout the movie for the romance between Ariel and Max, but the pace picks up considerably after a very brief introduction with Harry and Ariel's story. The movie then takes its story to a whole new level, as it follows Harry and Ariel as they travel across the countryside, stopping in various towns and villages along the way to engage in conversation with locals and to go on mini-voyage. On this journey, they learn more about Max's dark secret, as well as learn more about their mutual friend and fellow traveller, Ariel.
The romance between Harry and Ariel is one of the main highlights of the movie, but the way in which this love story develops, from a friendship point of view, and finally to the stage where they are ready to accept their mutual attraction, is what makes the movie very special. Another thing that helps to make this movie a very likable viewing experience is the manner in which director Wes Ball cleverly integrates sound into the picture. Throughout the movie, varying music themes take the forefront, adding a wonderfully eerie and dream-like quality to the film. The darkness of the Twilight Zone episode adds a wonderfully scary feeling to proceedings, which is perfectly suited to a story like this.
In short, Shadow in the Cloud does have some very strong hooks, and the movie as a whole works very hard to ensure that it is enjoyable to both the casual movie goer who may not be so familiar with the Twilight saga, and also the hardcore fan who has been watching the series since the first episode. But it isn't just the intense action sequences and the fantastic set pieces that make the movie very memorable. Shadow in the Cloud also contains a very tender and heartfelt story, which makes it a very endearing romantic comedy for fans of the Twilight saga. All in all, if you enjoy fantasy romance with strong thrills, then I would highly recommend that you give Shadow in the Cloud a watch...