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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.
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.
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.
*** 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.
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 bad.it could have been good with a better script.
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
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie was entertaining for the most part. The only thing that could have been done differently is the ending. They really did not need to throw that bit in. I did see some points in the movie that gave the character away slightly. So in a way I almost saw it coming. But after all the deaths that happened there was no point to throw in the last one or to even have that character. I mean it was way too coincidental and was a very weak twist. In fact I created an account here just so I could let people know to expect disappointment. I'm not going to tell you exactly what happened in case you choose to watch this movie. If you get caught up in the action you may not see it coming but there is a point where you know something is going to happen and it does. Other than the ending you may very well enjoy this movie. I would have rated it higher if they left that last bit out.
Despite its modest budget, this film proves to be a very welcome
addition to the horror genre. As its title suggests, AVOID THE SHORTCUT
avoids being a dull rehash of tired clichés and instead plays with
these loved horror conventions to create an exciting and very well made
If you want to take a break from the constant flurry of torture porn flicks, then take a look at this creepy chiller. A great story, interesting characters and a very twisted villain make this a surprisingly fun and enjoyable movie!
*** 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.
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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