The Shortcut (2009)

PG-13  |   |  Horror, Mystery, Thriller  |  29 September 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 2,602 users  
Reviews: 22 user | 16 critic

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
Scott Lyster ...
Christine MacInnis ...
Mrs. Hartley
Daniel Maslany ...
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 Super Mario Kart (1992) See more »

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User Reviews

Familiar premise but very good up until the ending.
20 February 2011 | by (South Africa) – See all my reviews

THE SHORTCUT pretty much has a familiar formula but what sets it apart from the other films of it type is that it has a more fleshed out storyline that develops the main characters and the villains as well, its also never really in a hurry to get to the hacking and slashing parts its actually very plot driven and not even too concerned about showcasing a bunch of gore, it even generates a decent amount of suspense and manages to establish an unsettling mood exactly when it needs to.

The acting is very good, I don't know any of the cast members or I might not have seen them before and it has fairly likable characters which is something you barely see in these types of films, normally you get a bunch of teens that annoy the living hell out of you you just want to smash your DVD player in two because the killer is taking to long to kill them.

Overall, out of many of the recent horror fair I've seen THE SHORTCUT probably has the lowest body count and is the least gore driven but at the same time its also one of the better horror films I've seen, it has an ending that sucks but that's normal for most better than average horror films.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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