Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Movie Review: The Task (2011)

The first thing I will say about The Task is that the DVD case is not so much misleading but it doesn’t really give you the jist of the film. I have to admit, when I picked it up to put it in the player, I was expecting a crazed killer with a clown mask. Not that I was disappointed with the actual film. In fact, I was quite impressed. For the most part, The Task plays with some very interesting concepts. So it can be more than forgiven for its vague and somewhat misleading cover.

The Task is billed as an After Dark Original (Production Company) which boasts titles like An American Haunting and Penny Dreadful among others so it is from good stock, Penny Dreadful being an original and highly enjoyable little horror film (Watch this space for review).

Well made and for the most part and well acted out. Extremely high production values and good use of effects and camera work. The script is fairly loose and doesn’t really build the level of characterisation it was aiming for but none the less an enjoyable experience. Anyone familiar with my previous posts may recall Hell Asylum. The two share a similar storyline, both pit unsuspecting contestants in a reality TV style game show with an ultimate cash prize for those able to last the night. While Hell Asylum showed great potential and was set in an abandoned insane asylum, The Task takes its story elsewhere.

The six contestants are plucked from the streets by masked men and taken bound and blindfolded to the prison. Upon arrival they are all given the low down and fed the warm up story of the sadistic and deranged ex warden who supposedly haunts the wings. Anyone not wanting to compete is told they are free to leave and all others are told to enter!

With shades of the House on Haunted Hill i.e. the venue in question is under surveillance and rigged to make the overall televisual experience more convincing. What they don’t count on is an apparent rogue extra who seems hell bent on writing his own script.

As I alluded to, the acting is not terrible. Despite being an unknown (to me) cast, they deal with the script very well. Special mention must be given to Marc Pickering who plays the “token gay guy” Randall. His performance is certainly worthy of further roles as is that of Irish born actress Antonia Campbell-Hughes who plays the seemingly fearless Angel.

The Task goes along its own task very well. With some original ideas and some great atmosphere, The Task is definitely worth a watch. The thrills may be in short supply in comparison to other Horror films of similar directions but its strengths far outweigh its weaknesses. One thing to watch out for though, is the disappearing blood. After one of the victims is cut open and blood is literally pouring out him, we expect to see a blood soaked floor but low and behold, no blood! It’s a miracle! Anyway, small things...! I am looking forward to seeing the next After Dark Original that crosses my palms!

Year Released: 2011
The Task (2011) on IMDb
My rating: 6

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