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.