“A mysterious creature terrorizes five teenage friends after their bus takes a shortcut on a desolate road in the wild.”

Director: Alessio Liguori
Writer: Danielle Cosci
Staring: Jack Kane, Zander Emlano, Zak Sutcliffe, Sophie Jane Oliver, Molly Dew
Release Date: September 25, 2020

Shortcut is a short Hulu original thriller that follows the journey of a group of teenagers who find themselves in a cat and mouse game against a dangerous beast who is roaming the dark tunnels of an abandoned military fort. Throughout the journey there are revelations as to how this animalistic creature came to be, and it is up to the kids to think quickly and save themselves from the evil that is chasing them.

Simply put, Shortcut is not very good. With a simple story, you need a strong hook or truly unique trait to keep your attention. Shortcut does not have anything to write home about. I am honestly struggling to expand upon it in this review because much of my thoughts are in the “not worth any of your time” category.

One of the major sticking points for Shortcut is a fascination/connection between the kids and the bus driver. There is a brief conversation at the start of the movie and they are sharing riddles with one another…and by the end it is as if this bus driver was the kids divine overlord. The kids drive to survive ends up being this bus driver (whose name I am having a legit problem finding) and the riddle that he shared with them at the start.

Also, side note, the riddle that this bus driver told them was very easy and it is shameful that none of the kids really solved it till the end.

Another major problem with this movie are the super duper out of place flashbacks. The kids discover a liar of information that once belonged to a man who made it his life to kill the beast, but ultimately failed. It was strange and ended up not being that consequential to the plot either. Just a jarring attempt to connect that past with the present.

I guess I should touch on one good scene from the movie. The scene that was salvageable is when the beast gets onto the bus and the kids see it in full form for the first time. The hands of the beast curling around the frame of the door or on the metal handlebar of a seat are effective suspense builders. At this point in the movie, I thought that something positive was developing. Unfortunately, I was drastically wrong.

Let’s address another problem with Shortcut. The beasts are stupid. Whoops, spoiler alert…there are more than one. How do they not know that the kids are playing games on them and trying to trick them? They are be all sneaky, menacing and such when killing folks from the shadows…but when it comes to the final 30 minutes they forget all of that. There are numerous times where the kids just distract the beasts from killing another kid with loud noises and stuff. The beasts are like puppies in being easily distracted.

Okay, I am tired of pretending to care about The Shortcut. It is not a good movie. It is not worth watching. Sometimes you need to be humbled and watch something bad. I was on too much of a hot streak. I had seen too many good movies in a row. Thank you The Shortcut for helping recalibrate.

STANKO RATING: D- (1.0/5 Stars)

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