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The Task (After Dark Originals)

3.5 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

Additional DVD options Edition Discs
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(Jul 26, 2011)
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$9.28 $1.81

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Something diabolical is taking place on the set of "The Task," a new reality show in which players compete for a cash prize by enduring a night in an abandoned prison and completing a series of creepy tasks designed for maximum terror. As six college students explore, things start to go amiss. Locked in this decrepit, labyrinthine prison, the contestants and the production staff start to realize that the scary reality show they thought they were taping has become real horror.


As part of the After Dark Originals lineup of horror home video, The Task is a little derivative to bear the series' hallmark too boldly. But a lack of originality in its premise doesn't mean that this nifty little thriller can't deliver a few authentically spooky scares and a creepy atmosphere that makes for some giggly, gross-out good times. The setup has a batch of clichéd young characters shackled together and shuffling into an old abandoned prison, where they're condemned to spend the night as contestants in a reality-TV show. The producers explain that each challenger must complete an assigned task within the crumbling walls before the night is through. Their individual tasks are one part of the show, but if they also demonstrate teamwork and help each other out they stand to take home even more cash winnings. The first collective task is to make it into the warden's office, where they'll find the keys to unlock their chains. The office will also serve as home base, where each character's instructions will be delivered by a psychotic clown on a video monitor. The pompous production crew is controlling and observing from a mobile nerve center parked down the road. They've tricked out the sinister old building with hidden cameras and other devices to make the devilish tasks more frightening. If all this is starting to sound like a cross between the Saw franchise and one of those haunted-house reality shows on the Discovery Channel, that's kind of the point. As each character type starts off on his or her task (there's the gay guy, the brainy girl, the dumb blonde, the wannabe gangsta, etc.), the script takes special care to explain the sensational back story of a psychotic warden who took sadistic delight in having his murderous way with inmates while he was in charge. Instructions for each of the tasks that unfold in dark, decrepit corners of the prison such as "the hole," the execution chamber, and special rooms the warden set up as personal torture chambers are both elaborate and a little uninspired, especially considering that we've been here and done this before in other movies and reality-TV shows. Nevertheless, the clever use of camera angles that mimic those of the show-within-the-movie and the cutting between the contestants and the production crew keep the fear factor lively and tangible. It's no spoiler to say that the warden gets up to some of his old tricks when his ghost is tickled thusly. But is it really his ghost, or is it part of the TV crew's deception to keep the contestants on their toes? Saying too much more about that part of things would get into the area of giving too much away. To its credit and in a stab at genuine originality, The Task does save up a few big surprises for participants and observers on both sides of the video monitors--yours and theirs. --Ted Fry

Special Features

• Making of / Behind the Scenes

Product Details

  • Actors: Alexandra Staden, Victor McGuire, Sean McConaghy, Adam Rayner, Antonia Campbell-Hughes
  • Directors: Alex Orwell
  • Writers: Kenny Yakkel
  • Producers: Bobby Ranghelov, Christopher Milburn, Courtney Solomon, James Portolese, Lauren Ito
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Lionsgate
  • DVD Release Date: July 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Z2PPI6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,814 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Task (After Dark Originals)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
The movie starts out with a young male, Dixon, (Texas Battle) strolling down the street and then he becomes abducted. He is one of several people who have been abducted and forced to wear pig head mask. As it turns out, all those who were abducted (interesting that they could get them all in one afternoon) have tried out for a reality TV show. The characters are all introduced by playing a portion of their interview tape. They will split $20,000 if they spend the night in abandoned Benneville Prison with tasks and scares provided by the producers...and oh yes- 20 homeless people have died there recently.

The cast are hand cuffed, like a chain gang, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl, boy with the black man at the end. There is an Indian(subcontinent)girl (Amara Karan) who is super intelligent and a blond (Ashley Mulheron as Shoe)who isn't. Antonia Campbell-Hughes is delightful as Angel who is a contestant who enjoys frightening the other contestants.

The story goes that the warden, in order to cut costs killed 85 inmates and then later was sentenced to death himself. His soul roams the prison. Or that is at least the story they were told...

Contestants randomly select a chess piece to represent them. Tasks are assigned by a prerecorded tape based on the chess piece...first up the white queen. While the tasks seemed to be at random, they are actually based on the interviews where the contestants disclosed their biggest fear.

As it turns out there are things in the prison the producers didn't count on...and the producers think it is just their network playing a game with them.

Good acting for a B movie. The soundtrack is not overpowering, but it is effective with drum rhythms inconspicuously mimicking heart beats. The horror is mostly pyschological and not blood and guts. Yes, we've seen this type of movie before, and I don't mind watching them again when they are done right.

F-bomb. No sex or nudity.
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Format: DVD
From the companies that brough you Horrorfest, comes the Task, a unique story with a twist. I really liked how ambitious the Task was and just what lengths it went to in order to try and trick the audience. It's unusal to find good writing or much of anything that isn't predictable in a film like this, and I really didn't expect it to be as entertaining as it was. This unique story begins with seven people being kidnapped and brought to a remote location to compete in a reality TV show, that combines Survivor, Fear Factor, and Ghost Hunters. The game requires the contests to spend one night locked in an abandon prison, with a seedy reputation. The contests must complete the tasks that are put in front of them to win a large cash award. The contests were as different as can be leading to a fantastic dynamic between them, it's a shame they didn't build on that dynamic and show more interaction between characters, that only would have added to the story. The cast, as usual, is mostly newcomers, but talented newcomers, who do an excellent job in making this story believable. A movie like the Task really comes down to the cast, because if they're not believable the movie ends up being only good for a few laughs. The cast was good, the plot was great, but what really put the film over the top was it's terrific ending, which was very reminiscent of another Lionsgate classic, Saw. It's an ending you shouldn't see coming, but one that really brings the whole thing together.
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Format: DVD
I just watched The Task and was very disappointed.
It had elements of several other horror films but none of it added up to a good movie.

First you have the Rip Off of the reality show with the people in the RV ala Wrong Turn 2 and even have the last guy standing from that film 'Texas Battle' in the cast.

I can't mention the other films that it ripped off or it will give away too much of the movie.
There was very little gore,the storyline was obviously lacking and it was very slow paced.

it even ripped off the old MTV show Room Raiders.
The atmosphere in the abandoned prison was creepy I will give it that and the use of camera was not bad but the entire effort was a fail as far as I'm concerned.The fat guy in the RV where all the producers and technicians were working made me cringe he was so annoying ,I was hoping he would go outside and smoke or something and get offed.

Bottom line,This year,so far watch Seconds Apart,Husk and even Prowl.but I say skip this unless you have money to throw away and there is nothing else to watch.
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Format: DVD
As "The Task" began, it instantly appealed to my sensibilities with a winning premise. Setting a horror movie within the confines of an abandoned prison during a reality game show shoot--how can you go wrong? If you've ever seen the television shows where contestants vie for cash prizes by braving scary (and oftentimes manufactured) horrors, you know that there is great material to be mined. MTV's "Fear" is a good comparison point. "The Task," however, seems not to know exactly what to do with this idea and while attempting to be a twisty thriller misses some of the basics. Fundamentally, the movie (after an expected set-up and character introduction) absolutely fails to even simulate interesting television. If the program being shot is supposed to be creepy and/or scary, it is really benign and utterly familiar. Without the game show providing any chills, laughs, or excitement, we're left with tedium. Think I'm overstating the case--here are two random tasks: One contestant goes to the chapel and has to have the lights off for one minute, another contestant has to eat meat when she's a vegetarian. Riveting and horrifying, huh? Who wouldn't watch that show?

Of course, there is more than meets the eye is this rather tepid horror entry. A mysterious stranger starts to haunt the prison. Is it the spirit of the maniacal ex-warden? Is is a trick from the production company? While the movie hopes to keep you guessing, it lacks the real cleverness or continuity to pull things off. The actors are all fine considering the material, but the screenplay lacks the punch and definition to really distinguish the movie as anything other than a missed opportunity. There are some supposed twists and surprises, it all feels rather cobbled together and uninspired.
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