When Shortcut began with a small group of teenagers on a bus, I was pretty sure I knew what I was in for. But I am happy to say that this movie really surprised me. I went in expecting a typical “spam in a can” monster movie but came away with much more.
Shortcut knows two things very well. First, we are most afraid of a danger we can’t see. Second, and even more importantly, danger is more menacing when we care about the people in it.
The filmmakers are fully aware of their budgetary limitations and generally make good artistic choices to cover them. Specifically, the use of darkness and effective sound design in dealing with their monster. The design and costume of the creature are serviceable but made more effective by limiting the amount of time we can actually see it. Kudos to director Alessio Liguori, director of photography Luca Santagostino, and editor Jacopo Reale for showing such restraint.
Of the strong behind-the-camera talent, the biggest standout is the score by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell. It creates such an excellent sense of mood. It’s something of a throwback to electronic scores of the 80’s, while still being original and innovative. It’s a real banger, as the kids say.