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November 26, 2010

Movie Review: The Shortcut (2009)

Right off the bat, everything done in this movie has been done before. In effect, the filmmakers took a ‘shortcut’ while making The Shortcut. Sorry, I had to say that but it doesn’t mean I’m lying! Take one part new kids in town, one part hot cheerleader type and one part old town legend, that absolutely no one has followed up on until the new kids move there, and you have The Shortcut. The cast of young actors is solid as are the production values, but, overall, The Shortcut is a pretty big waste of time and you should probably go the long way… again, I apologize. I can’t help it. There should be small town legends about bad movies about small town legends. Like if you watch the DVD you have to graduate from high school and never leave. You could be forced into becoming a body shop mechanic or impregnated by a body shop mechanic. It would be like one of Dante’s rings of hell… only meaner.

Buy The Shortcut on DVD and Blu-ray!

Well, here it is. In 1945 a young woman is nearly raped on a shortcut from school to town (by a kid that said he was shipping out in two weeks to fight Germans, but they were coming from a homecoming dance and those are held in the fall and all Germans surrendered by May of 1945… but I digress). The rape never happens, but she is killed by a weird little kid. Flash forward to 2009 and we are in the same town. Derek (Drew Seeley) is the new kid in town and his super violent little brother, Tobey (Nicholas Elia) finds a shortcut. On the shortcut, the kid sees a dead dog and is accosted by a creepy old man. The kid tells his brother, we see more flashbacks of the original killer kid’s family, Derek finds out about the old man and the legend of the shortcut, yadda, yadda, yadda. Eventually, Derek and some friends go investigate. Of course, that eventually take an hour to get to so we’re stuck listening to millennial teen drivel, angst-ridden hormonal flares and other forms of hellish dialogue I care not to mention. So, the movie really starts about a half hour in. The kids investigate the old man’s home only to find another old man chained in the basement. They make the dumb ass mistake of releasing the old man and find out, much to their own detriment, that he is the original psycho kid from 1945 and the first old man was his brother, keeping him in check. That’s a lot for the last half hour, but that’s what we’re working with. More stuff happens, people finally die, until it is just Derek and his pseudo-girlfriend Lisa (Shannon Woodward, who manages to pull off a good performance in this drek). Both old men are dead and Derek and Lisa try to get out of the woods. SPOILER ALERT: Tobey, Derek’s brother appears, and kills Lisa. Derek is unfazed by the attack and we learn that Tobey likes to kill people… just like the old men. Yawn.

So, there’s the story, or what parts of a story were used for The Shortcut. It’s a shame, really. The film looked fantastic and was very atmospheric. There could have been a chance for some quality genre work since, apparently, the budget was there for it. Unfortunately, that budget and talented cast and crew were squandered and forced to make The Shortcut

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