SHORTCUT (2020) Reviews and UK release news

‘Not every road leads you home’

Shortcut is a 2020 Italian-German horror feature film about youngsters on a school bus being attacked by a mysterious creature.

Directed by Alessio Liguori (In the Trap; Darkly; Report 51) from a screenplay written by Daniele Cosci, the movie stars Jack Kane (Dragonheart Vengeance; Hobbs & Shaw), Andrei Claude (Abduct), Zak Sutcliffe and Terence Anderson (Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre).

Plot:

A group of five classmates is trapped inside their school bus after a mysterious creature invades a road that cuts through the woods. Time begins to run out and every passing minute decreases their survival chances against the constant threat of the unknown entity…

Reviews:

“Briskly paced at just eighty minutes (including credits) Shortcut is undeniably slight, but it still offers some laughs, a few decent chills, and a very appealing cast of young actors. I enjoyed it as a low-key horror flick.” The Aisle Seat

Shortcut deserves kudos for what it does as a low-budget teen adventure/creature feature hybrid, but the technical aspects are on more solid ground than the script. To go with the nasty monster, there is an appealingly dark fairy-tale undertone, and the score of a gothic choir and synthesizer beats helps put one on edge.” The Artful Critic

” …Shortcut is a unique and genuinely entertaining horror movie. The production design is great. The creature design is cool and creepy; it’s mostly kept in the shadows or shown in quick flashes, keeping the tension high and making it look more realistic.” Flix Chatter

“The main issue with Shortcut is the fact that so many scenes seemed to be in the movie because someone wanted that particular shot in it. Usually, a movie is greater than the sum of its parts. But if you focus on wanting that cool shot of a bus or this particular angle of a frightened face, then this becomes the focus.” Heaven of Horror

Shortcut manages to check every box in the “I know where this is going” box… game… which is a thing, I swear. It never really steps outside a creature feature-ish plot, with a ragtag group of kids finally stepping up to the challenge, but the camera work and direction keep things interesting enough to appeal to those who favor remarkable film visuals.” Killer Horror Critic

Shortcut works best due to the strength of its younger cast. They have somewhat of a Goonies vibe if Sloth were a killer and the lighting were at a minimal. With a stronger opening act and better setup for the confrontation with the creature, the film would have been even more effective. As a drive-in or VOD option, there’s enough here to warrant the trip.” Lyles Movie Files

“A lengthy flashback explains something about the monster and suggests a way to defeat it, but with it, the wheel-spinning of Shortcut also becomes clear. It’s a brief movie (less than 80 minutes without credits), and even with that succinctness, the filmmakers struggle to find something to do with this material.” Mark Reviews Movies

“I only have minor complaints and this is an enjoyable horror movie. Taking in influences from several genres and ending up with something like a mix of Attack the Block and Howl but with an all-new deadly creature and all in less than eighty minutes. Shortcut is worth checking out.” Nerdly

” …Shortcut comes across as an artificial construct. Full of broad stereotypes and locations that make little sense, it keeps revealing the contradictions of its own production history (as an English-language Italian film), with characters whose accents suggest that they are from an English comprehensive, while several signs and found texts – and a song sung by the otherwise Cockney Pedro – are in Italian.” Projected Figures

” …an amateurish production and a mindless genre exercise. Its creators show only a cursory interest in their characters, whose water-taffy-thin personalities are stretched out in tortuous dialogue and voiceover narration that’s neither worthy nor surmountable for the movie’s game but inexperienced younger cast members.” RogerEbert.com

Shortcut is perfectly serviceable as a creature feature. If you like goofy monsters and lots of dark corners in which to shine torches and flashlights, Shortcut has you covered. If you are looking for genuine scares, you will want to look elsewhere.” Vocal Media: Horror

Release:

Shortcut was released by Gravitas Ventures nationwide across North America (USA/Canada) at drive-in’s and indoor theatres on September 25th 2020, followed by an On-Demand and Digital release on December 22nd.

In the UK, Shortcut will be available on DVD and Digital Download from 29th March 2021 via Darkland Distribution.

Cast and characters:

Andrei Claude … Chris
Jack Kane … Nolan
Zak Sutcliffe … Reggie
Terence Anderson … Joseph
Molly Dew … Queenie
Sophie Jane Oliver … Bess
David Keyes … Pedro Minghella
Zander Emlano … Karl
Teo Achille Caprio … Giulio Sarpi Jr.
Raffaele Buranelli … Reggie’s father
Emma Giua … Isabelle
Matteo De Gregori … Night Wanderer
Mino Caprio … Giulio Sarpi

Technical details:

80 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Trailer:

YouTube reviews:

MOVIES and MANIA rating:

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