Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Shortcut is your typical creature feature in every conceivable way. Characters are little more than cardboard cutouts, fulfilling every cliche in the book. These include nerdy girl, goth boy, cute-but-shy artist etc. It doesn’t add anything that we haven’t seen before. A large chunk of the film takes place on a bus, but Jeepers Creepers 2 did this first, and they did it better. The creature is gnarly, with impressive practical effects. The film’s choice to shroud this creature in shadow most of the film robs any tension or suspense. The synth score pops and bangs, often drowning out dialogue. As distracting as the score can be, it was still my favorite thing about this forgettable horror distraction.

Five British teens riding the bus home from school are forced to take a detour after a crazed serial killer hijacks his way on board. A horrifying creature pursues them to the tunnel of an abandoned military base, where they must face off against the deadly foe.

In the latter half of the movie, filmmakers try to establish emotional stakes echoing Stephen King’s It. The power of friendship is always something I love seeing explored, but it felt like, at the last minute, they just threw this into the narrative. There is almost zero character development throughout the entire film, yet we are supposed to care about their friendships? Nobody ever takes a shortcut in this movie, either—a detour is not a shortcut. Just saying. Shortcut comes to DVD and digital download on March 29th.

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