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  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • TadMSTR6 September 2009
    Warning: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • p-stepien27 October 2011
    Warning: 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.
  • revsolly16 September 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    Your telling me that someone actually thought this would make a good movie? The time I spent watching this is time I can never get back. However, I can warn you and, hopefully, help you to avoid the same fate.

    I must be honest, this movie probably would have been almost passable schlock, if not for the ending and plot twist. It was totally unbelievable (even for this genre).

    The sub-story/back story had potential. However, it deteriorated quickly, when brought to the present.

    The ending had no basis in logic, even within the realm of the movie, itself.

    It was truly a waste of time on my part, and effort on the part of the cast and crew involved.
  • After a series of strange incidents, a teen and his friends decide to investigate the supposedly-haunted shortcut through the woods that is the base of an urban legend around town, and find that someone is intent on proving the legend true.

    This was an enjoyable if slightly flawed effort that could've been even better. One of the better elements within this one is that it manages to be pretty creepy and suspenseful despite being pretty tame and soft. There's some really enjoyable and creepy moments in here which get this one going rather nicely, from the first time the kids wander through the house to the big confrontation in the woods where the darkness of the surrounding sand the two different encounters with the chained-up farmer makes for a couple of enjoyable entertaining scenes that work well without betraying the incredible tame feeling throughout this. Other big set-pieces include a second house-investigation sequence which features the spectacular sequence of the kids in the classroom which is illuminated only by their flashlights and shows row after row of mannequins set-up as if they're students and then stumbling upon all the writing on the wall which makes for a wholly impressive sequence, mixing together rather impressive suspense alongside the frantic action set-up which is highly enjoyable while keeping this one still quite kid-friendly. This is a rather big feature within the film here as none of these scenes and confrontations really highlights that issue and it's only upon reflection that it's really noticeable. This one does have a few small problems with it, the first being the really lame motivation for the killer. There's very little about it that would appear too logical and realistic as for why they would feel this way. That holds it down as well as the film's rather dull mid-section which doesn't offer much of anything interesting. This comes off as a lame teen-drama which isn't all too interesting and makes for a rather dull time as the family struggles and burgeoning romance aren't in the slightest bit exciting and really take away from the exploration of the easily as this tends to get glossed over easily. Lastly, while this one does manages to get in some good here with the tameness being quite nice, at times this one can be quite apparent of its roots and really highlight the tamer aspect especially in the beginning. It's all enough to bring this down slightly.

    Rated PG-13: Violence, Mild Language and children-in-jeopardy.
  • devils_neighbor_6679 February 2020
    A nice little thriller with a twist, even if the ending is somewhat disappointing
  • maddie-575522 July 2019
    This may not be a big budget blockbuster but I enjoyed it, and if you are expecting that then move alone Yes it's predictable in places but aren't they all, I found the acting good, the story wasn't bad. Give it a go it might surprise you
  • Pleasantly surprised! It really was better than I thought it would be. I have no flowery words or descriptions like other reviewers. I just wanted to say that I tuck this one up there on my list of horror shows.
  • Pretty disappointing, this movie is sooooo boring and predictable. You will know on what is going on even before it really starts. It has been already seen a million times in much better and more serious production. If you are a real horror movie gore and you don't have anything else but this film to fill up your already boring evening, then maybe yes - you go ahead and see it. Otherwise, as a sincere horror lover I do not recommend you the film. Teenage horror films can be a lot of fun, but not this one. For the reason of the good camera as well as few tense scenes, I will give this film two out of ten, but then that is pretty generous.
  • After starting this movie, I found myself constantly checking to see how far into the film I was.

    At the 30 minute mark, the movie was still was not doing anything for me. Yes, they give you a little bit of background (a few minutes ), and the rest is spent attempting to shape some characters - but alas, nothing interesting. I actually started to nod off.

    45 minutes in - they finally have one good scene. Then, it's back to the teeny-bopper, high school setting.

    Not sure how they can classify this as "horror" or even suspense, with just a handful of tense scenes. I am not a fan of gore, and don't need blood to enjoy a movie - but I do like to be taken by surprise, or startled. A thrill or two is great. You simply won't find anything here.
  • Warning: 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!
  • Warning: 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:
  • Warning: Spoilers
    There is an area of woods occupied by an "old man" through which lies "the shortcut". When high school students suspect their their dog was killed in the woods by the old man, they play Scooby-Doo investigators.

    The movie has a few flashbacks to the time of the "old man" growing up. The "twist" is exactly as expected. This might be a film for teens that liked Scooby-Doo. The characters were good, the plot might put you to sleep.

    Parental Guide: 1 F-bomb (WTF near end) attempted rape/grope, sex talk. No sex or nudity.
  • petit764 November 2009
    Warning: Spoilers
    I did not have deep expectations for this movie when i stuck it in the DVD player. It started like an old school thriller that gives the viewer pretty much the idea how it will develop and run.I expected a better start than a cheap slasher flick scene which tells you how the movie would turn out. The cast is way better than the inadequate story line. Music riffs are well crafted to add more to the fear otherwise it would only fall flat . I can say this is an offshoot of Adam Sandler's motion picture company and i really need to give 10 out of 10 for the photography and the music director of this movie. Picture is worth an ovation. What i did not really understand was why instead of calling the police to track down the house of the alleged slasher guys are trying to break into the man's garage where they find weird things . The cliché is how the cast is trying to scare themselves off backing up the music . btw another cliché is sex innuendos the main characters are having in the car while lurking on the killer. I guess concealment is more important than making out in the car where you are heck close to the slasher . dude watch out he may come and slash you :). another cliché to spoil about is the guys perusing the garage of the slasher almost all through the movie . the director is quite nitwit to use these old school Hollywood clichés to scare the teenager audience . I would not recommend this movie for people who have a lot of expectations from a horror flick . I would be totally bewildered if in one movie the phone signal is available when the victims try to call 911. Almost in every slasher movie the cellphone is used for the despairing feeling the runners hold onto .i am rating this flick 3 out of 10 . Evren Buyruk from USA
  • So not particularly scary. Pretty predictable. Stumbling about in the woods. I thought the very end might be a fun twist but the foreshadowing was pretty thick. Some decent acting so that's fun. Was okay for a "nothing else to do" kind of night. Franco was fun and kinda cute back in the day. Big question "what happened to Tammy?"
  • This movie revolves around a mysterious road that works as a shortcut in the middle of a typical US housing suburb. Those who take that route end up disappearing and, as there is a school nearby, there is some local care so that the children don't go there. Being a teen-oriented movie it has a few teenagers in the spotlight but it doesn't have bloody carnage filled with tomato juice, as the vast majority of teen horror movies. This will probably keep away the gore fans, without general public feel any lack of them, or gore itself. The movie tries to build some suspense around the shortcut and what goes on there, and succeeds in that. It doesn't waste time where it shouldn't nor runs over story to get where it wants. The cast isn't particularly sounding but it does what we could expect, though without ever giving us anything else. Nonetheless, the absence of great actors and a more elaborate and and psychological plot make this film something that only serves to spend an hour or two. It's not a bad movie, it's even better than a lot of teen crap! It's pure entertainment... but it's not more than that.
  • Warning: 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.
  • anton_thomas4722 April 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie was fine. Nothing more. Nothing less. It contained all the usual ingredients that make a horror. New family in town, an urban legend which no one should check out, pretty girls, people dying and to finish ... a twist at the end.

    I saw that people were complaining, or even thinking that the twist at the end was outside the realm of possibility. To be honest with you, you could see it coming from a mile away.

    All in all, if you want to kill some time this movie is great for doing that.

    Telling it how it is.

    Straight talking Tony from NZ
  • Normally, I wouldn't give a PG horror movie the time of day. Films like Twilight are not my idea of vampire movies. But, I just watched Tucker and Dale vs Evil and I wanted to see Katrina Bowden again.

    The movie was mostly disappointing through the first two acts. It wasn't until there were only 20 minutes left that we saw any real action. Then, it was intense as the kids were running for their lives.

    The story was predictable. I won't give anything away. The ending was a jolt and showed some real creativity.

    No standout performances, except for maybe Raymond J. Barry, who played the old man in the woods.

    You can find something better to watch.
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