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The Shortcut (2009)

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Two brothers come upon a rarely used shortcut in their new town


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeremy Bastian ...
Benjamin Hartley (1940s)
School Administrator
Benjamin Hartley
Benjamin DeWalt ...
Benjamin Hartley (1950s)
Old Man / Ivor Hartley (as Raymond Barry)
Jonelle Gunderson ...
Sally (1950s)
Ms. Milan
Christine MacInnis ...
Mrs. Hartley
Ivor Hartley (1950s)
Maxine Miller ...


High school senior Derek was adjusting to life in a new town when he discovered an overgrown path leading into the woods. According to his classmates, the local kids used to use it as a shortcut before a malevolent farmer began chasing them away with a shovel. Eventually, a few of the local kids went missing under mysterious circumstances. Rumor has it that the old man got them. Now years have passed, and no one dares go near the path. The townspeople have simply accepted the fact that it's off limits. But Derek suspects that the old man is hiding something, and he's determined to find out what it is. Once he uncovers the sinister secret that lies just beyond the trees, however, he may not live to reveal the awful truth. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for violence and terror, language, sexual material, thematic elements and brief teen drinking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

29 September 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Avoid the Shortcut  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(European Film Market)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This movie is said to be based on a childhood experience of producer Adam Sandler, in which he found a homeless person feeding what was seemingly a stray dog human faeces. Sandler questioned the hobo on it, at which point Sandler claims the dog said in a monotone voice "This doesn't concern you.". Sandler sought psychiatric help after this and claims this event scarred him for life. See more »


It is announced at the beginning of the film that the year is 1945, and there is a prominent banner for Hartley High School's Homecoming. A young man entering the Marines says he's going to be stationed in Germany, which is important because he has to "Stop the Nazis." Homecoming dances at USA high schools are in October or November, which means the dialogue takes place in October or November of 1945. Hitler committed suicide in April of 1945, and the Nazi party quickly dissolved. World War II was over by the time this conversation took place. See more »


References Halo 3 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Don't Waste Your Time
2 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I didn't have very high expectations for this movie, but I was at least hoping for a few good jump scares, and maybe a few robbed hours of sleep that night.

My hopes were shattered when, a minute into the movie, we see two teenagers at a homecoming dance in the fall of 1945, the boy talking about how he ships out in two weeks to fight the Nazis. (All of Nazi Germany had surrendered by May 11, 1945.) The movie went downhill from there. I was giggling two minutes in, and ready to turn it off at the opening credits, which blatantly rip off "Se7en's." But, against my better judgement, I stayed with the sinking ship, and wish I hadn't.

Everything about the movie had been done before, and better, by others. The plot was weak to say the least, and the ending was stupid and implausible, which robbed it of any genuine shock it had the potential to hold. If the movie had at least had some decent character development, I might have been able to forgive it...but five minutes in, I was actually praying for the characters' deaths, and nothing changed. I was groaning out loud at the pathetic "bantering" dialogue, and there were jarring continuity errors as well. When I wasn't giggling, I was nearly falling asleep. As I said, there was no story, no emotion, not even any gore for slasher fans. The shots were bland and boring...I felt like I was watching a middle school's drama production of an adaptation of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" without Freddy.

Feeling like I'd been robbed of eighty-five minutes of my life, I turned on the director's commentary to try to understand his reasoning...only to find that he had none. His opening comments were: "Hi. If you can hear my voice right now, then that means that you're watching the DVD." Fifteen minutes in, I'd discovered that I knew more about directing a film than he did.

I turned off my television and had a good cry, and I'm still trying to erase the whole experience from my mind. I can only implore you all not to waste your time or money on it.

8 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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