Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Shortcut (2009)

The Shortcut (2009)Dir. by Nicholaus Goossen

Two brothers, new to town, come across a shortcut with a deadly past... and future.

The Shortcut really slipped in under the radar in 2009. I don't remember seeing anything about its release, so I'm guessing it was straight to DVD, but I don't remember even hearing anything about the DVD release. Who would have thought that Nicholaus Goossen's follow-up film to Grandma's Boy would be a horror. That might be the most horrifying part of the film, I'm kidding of course. The film has a real strong story about the youngest brother taking a bet from some new friends of his to go down this shortcut, where he runs into a dead dog. When he goes to poke it with a stick he is threatened by an old man (Raymond J Barry). When he runs home to tell his brother, his brother (Andrew Seeley) gets a young group of his friend together to investigate the old man, who they believe to be killing dogs.

The performances by everyone in the film is pretty above par. I was really impressed with Drew Seeley, as his acting experience isn't terribly full yet, but he was really impressive. Dave Franco (Superbad, and the upcoming Fright Night remake) adds his usual comedic relief, but it doesn't overwhelm the film. Katrina Bowden (aka Ms. Tasty in Sex Drive) adds the stereotypical hot girl the new guy is trying to get with, and Josh Emerson (Jennifer's Body) plays his role well of the Jock who happens to go along with the new guys because his dog is missing. The adorable Shannon Woodward (or Di Di from The Riches) just adds to mix with her nerdy girl who is friends with the New Guy, but seems to want more and won't tell him. The real winner here in the acting entourage is Raymond J Barry. I have been a big fan of his since Born On The Fourth of July, through Falling Down, and Sudden Death. He is just one of those guys that pops up everywhere, but he always seems to play an ass. He isn't far off with this performance, but it is definitely a different kind of character for him. He plays the creepy old guy to almost perfection. He alone makes this movie worth watching for sure.

The film starts off really slow, and I mean really slow. Aside from the initial run-in with the youngest brother and the old man, the first 45 minutes of the film is slow and almost mind numbing at times. Even with the slow start, once the film picks up it gets pretty intense for a while. I could have gone without flashbacks trying to explain the background of the old man. The are an essential part to the story, and the HAVE to be in there for the ending to work, but the were an inconvenience to the pacing of film. I could have used a little more gore, but that is just me. The story turns out to be crazy, and insanely good, until they try to do a extremely predictable and unnecessary M. Night-ish ending. I won't say much more about it, but it made me upset when the film could have had a perfectly good ending seven minutes earlier. Overall the film is a solid watch and if I ever saw it on DVD in the cheap bin I would pick it up.

Entertainment Value: 6/10 Links of a Chain
Cinematic Value: 5/10 Links of a Chain


Andrew Green said...

I had been planning to skip this one, but I think you just convinced me to give it a chance....
Great review!

Carl Manes said...

Hadnt even heard of it, but me and Andrew may need to make a movie night out of it!