The Shortcut Review
Directed by Nicholaus Goossen
Starring Drew Seeley, Shannon Woodward, Dave Franco, and Katrina Bowden
The Shortcut is a PG-13 thriller that tells the story of a group of high school seniors that decide to find out the truth about the creepy old man who lives on the wooded land intersected by the shortcut.
With its catchy tagline (“Some urban legends are real!”) and a “non-horror fan” friend’s recommendation, I decided to watch The Shortcut. What the hell was I thinking?
Growing up with the teen-horror films of the 90s, such as Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer, and Urban Legends, I could simply be jaded when it comes to the high school and college students centered horror films. But that is doubtful when I enjoyed those “so terrible that I loved them” horror films because 90s teen-horror helped me embrace the genre.
But The Shortcut does not even merit “so bad it was good” praise in my mind. It had some good moments and the ever-popular seemingly normal, but nonetheless creepy kids. Children can be so damned creepy!
However, I was completely overwhelmed by the high school student equation that is the curse of these teen-horror flicks. High school students equal brainless actions and utter stupidity.
Whether it is walking through the darkened woods or searching through an abandoned house, high school students are oblivious to their surroundings and their overly loud actions.
Lisa (Shannon Woodward) has no concern for object placement when she searches through the abandoned house, anyone walking into those rooms would know that someone had been there! Stupid girl!
But like I said, The Shortcut did have some moments between the frightened teenagers and their less than stealthy actions. Unlike similar teen-horror flicks, the hacking and slashing leaned toward the bare minimum but when it came on screen. Hand smashed by a sledgehammer, it was grotesque and amazing!
And a back story is told via flashbacks about the madman. I am always a sucker for a good back story, but this particular back story was not enough to salvage The Shortcut.
The twist ending was totally unnecessary and quite predictable, brotherly love at its finest. I should have known when I saw Happy Madison’s new label Scary Madison that I was in deep trouble.