‘THE SHORTCUT’ is the first movie to come from Scary Madison, which is one of Adam Sandler’s Production companies . When you first watch the movie you never would’ve guessed that it was a low budget film or that it was shot in about 3 weeks. Although Adam Sandler does not make a guest appearance in the movie his production company did a fantastic job with the what they were given.
Like I had said before the Movie was Low budget and shot in about 3 weeks, which puts it into a different category that that of the Saw and Friday the 13th trilogy.The movie hit a couple of snags before filming even started. The film was originally set to be rated R, but that was ultimately changed to pg-13 after they received financing. They filmed in Regina, Canada . Direcor, Nicholaus Goossen, said the location was picked for budget reasons, however there is only a couple hours of night each day which they had limited night hours. Additionally Regina is a very flat terrain and for a movie that is set in the woods it was difficult as the director pointed out, ‘ the location didn’t provide the type of atmosphere and terrain we were looking for’ and it was ‘ barren land that didn’t really serve our purposes’ Once they started filming things didn’t get much better, Their lead actor Drew Seeley sprained his ankle, which could’ve spelled disaster, as they were running through the woods most of the time but Seeley wore an ankle brace. Although they do feature products from big companies like Pespsi, they didn’t get compensated. Goossen likes to put a lot of blood and gore into horror movies, especially PG-13 ones, but the powers that be didn’t want that much stuff in the movie because they only wanted to go to the ratings board once. There were some scene that they forced Goossen to film multiple times with different amounts of blood.
The story is split into two parts. The first time we are introduced to the shortcut is in the 1940s when a girl gets walked by a fellow classmate who home after a dance; but unfortunately that was not what everyone had in mind. After a series of disappearances the shortcut was fenced off from the school which is now turned into a Hartley elementary school. Derek( Drew Seeley) Toby(Nicholas Elia) , and their mother moves in and has an encounter with an old man in the woods who just happens to be hanging out near a bloody animal. Toby completely freaked out tells this older brother, Derek, who goes to investigate with his two friends, a jock who wants to find his lost dog, and girl who Derek has a crush on. The second part of the story revolves around the Hartley family back in the 1940s who has an odd obsession. The second story line is shown along with the first until they catch up with each other in the climax of the movie. I can’t say amore without exposing spoilers but there is one last thing I have to point out, the ending. I believe the ending to be the best part of the movie because I never saw it coming, lead actor, Drew Seeley , agreed ‘The ending caught me off guard, I really like the twist’
I wouldn’t count this movie out because it’s PG-13, after all movies such as The Ring and a Haunting in Connecticut are also PG-13. If you are a horror movie buff you probably wouldn’t like this movie. If you’re not a horror movie fan because you cannot handle scary movie you might like this film. If it was a big budget movie that had a 3 month shoot would say it was well bad, but considering it’s a low budget and shot in about 3 weeks it’s very good.
What I thought was the main issue is that you knew in the past who was doing the killings; there was no mystery about that. You also knew that the old man lived in the house for many years, and was who the townspeople blame for the disappearance of animals and people. While there is a really good twist at the very end, it would’ve been better off if there was a mystery of who did the killings in the past, rather than knowing it’s the people in the house who did the killings about 20 minutes or less into the film. But once it got to the climax of the film the way the characters reacted and what they did were good and were similar to other reactions that is typical of horror movie characters to do. So if you like watching low budget films or you can’t handle horror movies, you’ll like this. ‘