If you want a fun, interesting thriller-esque movie then you should check out The Shortcut. The movie is about a small town with an urban legend. There is an area of woods near the elementary school. Every time children took ‘the shortcut’ through the woods they disappeared. This all started in the 1940s with a deranged little boy. In present day it continues and some high school students go out to set the record straight.
The acting in the film was very good despite a very young cast. Andrew Seeley (“Dawson’s Creek,” “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody”) was the main character as Derek. He is new to town and has a younger troubled brother. As he learns more about the odd family that owns the woods there are a lot of similar dynamics between his own family and the weird woods family. Shannon Woodward plays Lisa, Derek’s best friend. Woodward has been in “The Riches” and “ER” among many other things. Oddly enough, the director Nicholaus Goossen also directed Grandma’s Boy.
The movie was made up of a series of flashbacks and present day scenes. I really liked how they went back and forth, revealing more and more about the urban legend as the film went on. It was cool to see the retro 1950s scenes and how the town changed over the years. The use of flashback was very effective because as a viewer each flashback gave me another little clue about what the truth was, instead of just revealing it all at once.
The movie was really fun and funny. The characters all got along really well, they truly seemed like they were all friends. It was nice to follow their adventures into the woods and it kept me on the edge of my seat. There was definitely suspense because there are many times when the teenagers are about to be caught by the killer and some don’t survive. I have mixed feelings about the ending, it made sense but I wanted Derek to make a different decision (you’ll understand when you see it).