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Reviews & Ratings for
The Shortcut More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Nothing Special Here..

Author: TheyKallMeDood from United States
9 September 2009

What can I say? It's a B-slasher flick with a pretty good cast and a weak plot. Really, the movie starts out very very weak. I was afraid it was going Disney horror on me. The script is really cheesy in the parts and the scares are so ridiculously stupid, it's not even worth laughing about. But as the film progresses the mood starts to change and the characters become more and more developed and the suspense starts to build. I really loved the character development here. I especially loved Mark (Dave Franco) who is really a funny, cowardly guy. He has some really funny back and forths with Lisa (Shannon Woodward) who is also very well developed and fun to watch. So overall, I liked the acting and characters. The plot was super weak. I didn't understand why in the world some random teenagers would care that much about going to that man's house. There reasoning was they wanted to know if that man was killing dogs. Well if he was, why wouldn't they just call higher authority to go check it out? Nope, they had to be on the case themselves. Which I suppose I can't fault since our little bleeders need a creepy place to get slashed away anyways. The deaths are all pretty well done, even though none of them are creative or gory in any way. It's very bland so I wouldn't recommend this to gore hounds.

The finale, which comes a bit too soon, is very predictable but it's still a nice little twist for this low-budget slasher. Even if it is a bit outlandish and confusing.

Overall, The Shortcut has it's moments, but overall it's an average B-slasher. Nothing more.

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13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Good horror is hard to find....

Author: L_Miller from United States
19 February 2011

There are other reviews, this is just a comment. Movie is decent, ignore the haters.

Does have some issues (didn't know Nazi Germany was still fighting in fall of '45), plot meanderings, weak points and not exactly a master thespian cast but has some good horror moments, decent banter and semi-plausible character interactions.

The interesting thing about this movie is its orientation toward not showing the ultraviolence in all its dripping glory. The most visually graphic scene is when one character has his finger broken.

Personally, I am utterly sick of watching 80 minutes of CGI anatomy trying to take the place of a story. This movie has the sense to use the cutaway (ha ha) approach to violence and I respect it.

I would watch this movie 100 times over any of that Saw (post Saw 1, which I thought was pretty good) / Hostel torture voyeurism or Rob Zombie crap remake any day.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Why does the Shortcut feel so long?

Author: arfdawg-1 from United States
15 July 2011

Yikes. Really dumb confusing movie. The title translates to "dont go in the woods cuz there's a killer in there. Or is there? The acting isn't all that bad, but there is no cohesive story.

The plot meanders from the 40s to 50s to present. And then there's a decent surprise ending that is totally ruined by an incomprehensible second surprise ending 10 minutes later.

It is so out of place you'll be wondering what they were thinking -- like a sequel? Come on folks. Are you delusional?

In all, you'll just feel let down and like you wasted 90 minutes.

Too could have been good with a better script.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Average film with excellent twists! Worth a shot.

Author: Nitzan Havoc from Israel
18 January 2013

The Shortcut is another shining example of how one can almost never trust IMDb's rating system, or the users responsible for it. Either that, or I seriously don't understand the way it's supposed to be. However, if you do watch The Shortcut expecting a 5.0 rated film - you'll be very pleasantly surprised.

The way I see it, this film is divided into three parts. The first one is the longest and slowest, giving us the exposition and buildup which are quite good - family moves into a new place, the kids in school and their friends, the local urban legend of a place you shouldn't go to, the works! The second part starts about an hour after the beginning, involves a pretty nice twist and is much more fast-paced, with some cat and mouse chases just like in Slasher films. The final part is the ending, which completely blew my head off as I did not see it coming! I thought the film was above average but not by far, and then the ending really got it some more points.

The acting is good, especially by Shannon Woodward as Lisa. The flashes from earlier years were also well used, and the cinematography wasn't anything special but wasn't bad.

All in all, I really enjoyed this film, as I'm a sucker for good plot twists, especially towards the ending. The Shortcut, while not a masterpiece, is definitely recommended!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Eat, drink, murder

Author: p-stepien from United Kingdom
27 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the fall of 1945 youths in a small town are getting ready to head for war in Europe (news apparently doesn't travel fast). One such soldier wants to get it off with his girl and in an attempt to do so takes the shortcut through the woods, where he aims to take advantage of the situation. However his girl ends up being murdered by a young boy. Over 60 years later two brothers move into town: Tobey (Nicholas Elia) and Taylor (Josh Emerson). Unknowing off the ignomy of the short cut, where it is rumoured that many kids and animals have disappeared, Tobey is conned by his friends to take the route...

Any decent horror film needs to have at least two of the prerequisites - atmosphere, an intriguing story, a good scare, originality and capable acting. Issues like reasonable believability of script, nice pacing and in some preferences a sufficient gore factor as additional bonuses. "The Shortcut" basically fails on all grounds with flashbacks crucialy disappointing. It reveals too much of the story backbone to create any sense of mystery, while given the standardised movie-making qualities it has nothing close to atmosphere. At the same time it lacks originality either in structure or in story, while the story plods out for the first sixty minutes and then suddenly throws us into the final act unprepared in such a manner, that you can't even believe that we are already heading for the conclusion. Acting is all over the place, albeit the menacing Raymond J. Barry and the captivating Katrina Bowden are standout with what little proper dialogue they have to work on.

The worst factor is the believability of the script. Naturally a certain suspension of belief is necessary, but that doesn't mean anything flies. In the case of "The Shortcut" we are led to believe, that a normal child brought up in a loving caring environment can have some sort of uncontrollable craving to murder at a whim. The whole base for the horror wants to takes my common sense and strangle it, but I am unwilling to comply.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Fairly average teenage slasher movie

Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark
19 January 2011

This movie was, well truth be told, fairly average.

The storyline was pretty much like taken from a mold of how to make a teenage slasher movie, nothing new or super surprising to the story actually. You have your newly arrived family to a town, a crazy old man in the woods, and a bunch of teenagers with their noses in places they don't belong. And with that recipe, "The Shortcut" is set off to an otherwise alright ride.

The movie moves ahead at a good pace actually, never becoming stale or boring. There is a good turn of events throughout the movie, and some nice character build as well. This is some of the stronger elements that work for the movie.

As for the cast, well I think they actually put together an alright group of people here for the movie. Raymond J. Barry in the role of the 'old man' was actually good, he did come off the screen sort of aloof, but I wouldn't say he was creepy, as the teens in the movie described him. As for the young cast, well they did good jobs with their characters as well, but for me it was Raymond J. Barry who carried the movie.

Now, for a slasher movie, there isn't a whole lot of blood and gore, but that is alright, because the movie didn't' really need it. It was more thriving on building up suspense and atmosphere. However, I must say that you have the storyline figured out fairly quickly into the movie, but still, the movie is worth watching. And the ending, had a rather unusual twist to it. Whether you like that particular twist or not is a matter of opinion. I, personally, found the ending to be over the top, it just didn't seem like a wholesome way to round up the movie. But of course, this is a matter of taste.

One of the better scenes in the movie was the hammer scene. Without giving anything away, you will know what I am talking about when you see it. That scene was so good, and the aftermath was working out nice as well.

And what was really working for "The Shortcut" was the atmosphere of the setting and scenery. There was a whole seedy, dormant feel to the town in which it took place. And the old man's house, though described as creepy and disturbing by the teenagers, wasn't what they said it was. But, I will say that the old man's house was interesting, and it had a very gloomy feel to it, with some fairly interesting items to be seen here and there.

As movies go, do not expect the next Jason Voorhees or Freddy Krueger to be born from this movie. It is a fairly average movie, and it is one that fails to stand out in the slasher genre. Sad to say, but you watch this movie and then it will fade into oblivion, because nothing really makes it extraordinary or standing out in any way.

I found the movie to prove adequate entertainment for its one and a half hour (approximately) duration, though it is not a movie that I will be returning to for a second time around.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Predictable yet (possibly) entertaining

Author: mfrogers-685-496965 from United States
14 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can only say that I called it from the start. However, to the movie's benefit (maybe) there was a twist at the end. Not that it was interpretable, unless you stretch a lot of information that seemed to be extremely compressed throughout the movie.

First of all, if you are looking for gore, this is not your movie. Blood, yes. Death, yes. A lot? No. In fact, the movie seems to focus away from that type of action. Second, if you are looking for cheap thrills, this is not your movie. No shock value, no popping-up-behind-the-hero-value... nothing. There is a chase scene, but not much of one.

In fact, this movie seems to try to be more of a psychological thriller. Why family sticks together, perhaps. A brother stands up for his brother, but only to a certain extent. In the end, when the main character sees first hand what happens to families that hide a hideous secret, he still chooses to follow that same path. There is no resolve to this story. No morale. No message.

For those hoping for a happy ending: better luck next movie. For those wishing for gore and bloodshed: better luck next movie. For those wishing for a psychological drama: this was a mediocre attempt.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Familiar premise but very good up until the ending.

Author: Jan Strydom from South Africa
20 February 2011

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.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Just Take The Long Way...I Beg You.

Author: thecinemaview from United States
12 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

With "Trick 'r Treat" proving to be a surprisingly effective chiller for the straight-to-video market and "Paranormal Activity" (I can't wait to see and review it!) impressing almost everyone in theaters, the horror genre seems to be having a small pre-Halloween resurgence. Unfortunately, "The Shortcut" is here to serve as a nagging reminder that the current state of horror is sadly pathetic. Released by Scary Madison, an offshoot of Adam Sandler's Happy Madison production company, this film is shockingly inept for one that is trying to prove its company's worth in an already saturated genre. In fact, the only thing that "The Shortcut" proves is that Scary Madison will live a short, unfulfilling life before being dismantled in favor of more comedic mediocrity starring Sandler. Here, despite the presence of his brother, Scott Sandler, as a screenwriter, Adam was wise enough to stay far away. Given the caliber of much of his recent work, you know that "The Shortcut" has got to be bad.

Read My Full Review Exclusively At:

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

This movie was disturbing...but not in a good way that horror flicks sometimes are.

Author: tanjareen-1 from Germany
23 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I was looking forward to this movie and it started out quite good: An old legend, flashbacks, a possible love triangle, Seeley as a likable lead, etc.

BUT...and this is a pretty big 'but'...the first 65 minutes felt like a detective movie for know, something you watch on a Sunday afternoon where some kids are spying on a creepy old man.

Even though we get the psycho kid and the dead dog pretty early...that's about it. NOTHING HAPPENS! We see the kids at school, at work and a stupid blonde that plays football like a little princess who is afraid to get dirty..(seriously, they just could have made her a cheerleader, that would have been more believable). There was a whole lot about that girl that didn't even make sense: Why bring up that she wants to go to an Ivy League university and point out that she isn't taken seriously by the headmaster when it isn't further explained to add depth to her character? Why bring up her boyfriend when we never see him? Why put her on the movie poster when her role was so unimportant? They should have put Taylor on least he had more on-screen time. Other than that we don't really know anything about the characters in this movie, there is no development, no emotional depth...nothing!

Well okay, where was I? The plot! From the moment you see psycho kid's brother in one of the flashbacks you know that he is the creepy old man cleaning up the mess behind his deranged little brother. There is no just know the whole 'plot twist' after 20 minutes.

And the end, oh my god i don't even know where to start!

As if to make up for all the time nothing happened, suddenly EVERYTHING happens: the kids free psycho-man and he kills them (the two boys literally within seconds!!! They die like some unimportant extras). I mean, maybe it was supposed to be the big finale but that's just not how you build suspense in a horror movie. I actually thought for a while that no one was going to die because everything felt too harmless and than THIS.

Well and than the END...this was next to psycho brother's 'goodbye' speech (3 minutes ago he wanted to shoot the kids and then: "i can't do this anymore...i love you") the most ridiculous part of all: Derek's little brother shows up and is a psycho, too. TADAAA! Once again, you knew this was gonna happen because Lisa was mean to him, the hints about 'trouble at his old school' and the way he played the video game. When they continued the movie with Derek and Lisa walking through the woods, you knew that the new little psycho would show up and kill her for what she had said before. And Derek? He screams "No, Lisa, no!" and then turns into a psycho himself. Just like that...without further explanation. And don't give me that "He wants to protect his little brother crap and he isn't really a bad guy" because he just doesn't care about the fact that the little freak just killed his friend. There is no deeper dramatic side to this. You just have A LOT of psychos.

This movie was disturbing...but not in a good way that horror flicks sometimes are. It doesn't make you think. You rather feel the need to complain because they screwed it up so badly in the end.

I still think it's interesting that Mr.Sandler is now making Horror flicks ...maybe the next one is going to be better! I sure hope so!

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