A mess of a movie. Shortcut is an incredibly frustrating watch where one scene moves to another without any real connection between them. It begins in head-scratching fashion and deteriorates in spectacular fashion. By the end, it’s a movie that you can’t help but hate for how poor it is overall.
We’re immediately introduced to a bus making its way through the countryside with a handful of teenagers on board. Where are they? Who knows! Why are they on this bus? No explanation. Where are they going? Forget getting that answer!
The first part of the movie introduces these teens, a cookie-cutter group made up of Nolan (Jack Knae), Reggie (Zak Sutcliffe), Bess (Sophie Jane Oliver), Karl (Zander Emlano) and Queenie (Molly Dew). The driver is the affable Joseph (Terrence Anderson) and finding a downed tree on the road, he decides to take a shortcut.
It’s on this shortcut that the group are accosted by an escaped serial killer who threatens them with a gun. On his instructions, the bus continues onwards until it breaks down in a tunnel. This is where the real villain of the movie is introduced. Some sort of monster that drinks the blood of its victims. Or something like that. Where this monster came from or how it has remained undiscovered is just another unanswered question. In a film that fails to answer so many questions.
The kids are forced to flee for their lives, finding an underground bunker to hide in. Unfortunately for them, they’ve actually stumbled across its hideout.
Bad. This is a bad movie simply because of how little story-telling effort is put in. From the baffling decision to not include a throwaway line as to why our characters are even where they are. To the absurd introduction of a serial killer that plays almost no part in the overall story. To a monster that appears to have very little threat and even less depth. It’s scene after scene of nonsense.
It’s not the fault of the actors as there’s some young talent here. However, their characters are trash and they are asked to run in fear one scene then be jovial and playful in the next. One in particular, Karl, is seemingly the comic relief but is written so poorly, you’ll be egging on the monster to kill him first.
The longer it goes on, the more you’ll find yourself sinking into your chair. The realisation that all of this is happening and we should just accept it, is simply staggering. Sure, thanks to a diary we get some backstory relating to the monster, but it doesn’t explain how or why it exists. Then it just ends and we get a voiceover talking as though this was a ‘coming of age’ story for the group of teens. If you made it this far, congratulations. Spread the word, this is one Shortcut absolutely no-one should take.
The Final Score - 2/10