CITADEL (2012)

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CITADEL (2012)
Written and directed by Ciaran Foy

After the murder of his wife in an apartment block by hooded thugs, Tommy becomes agoraphobic, fearful of leaving the house with his baby daughter, Elsa. After meeting up with a local priest, who’s also sick of the hoodies, the two team up to take them down for good.

Citadel is director Ciaran Foy’s debut feature film and he does an excellent job in creating a tense, moody horror thriller that takes a twist on the yob culture of today. Imaginative shots lead up to the initial kill, with the filmmaker very keen on keeping the viewer as helpless as Tommy, only allowing the camera to only see what he can see from inside the lift. Subsequent scenes, where Tommy becomes a recluse, plagued by agoraphobia, are hard to watch at times, with the scenes almost too claustrophobic for the viewer. The fear sparked by his wife’s murder is all too evident, with Tommy hiding away in a dilapidated house with only a nurse named Marie supporting him. You could cut the tension with a knife and this works brilliantly to work up towards the latter end of the film.

Talented Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard leads the film as Tommy, the once happy young man looking forward to moving out of the towerblock with his pregnant wife, Joanne (Amy Shiels) for a better life for them as a new family. After the attack, his life turns upside down and now he lives for Elsa, his baby daughter who was miraculously saved. Being a young father is hard enough, but as a single, bereaved parent with killer youths on his tale, life could not get any worse. The only person he can confide in is friendly nurse Marie, played by Wunmi Mosaku, who befriends Tommy after having taken care of his late wife, Joanne, in hospital. Braveheart actor James Cosmo steals the show as the vigilante priest, who’s straight-to-the-point attitude and awareness of the dangers of the hoodies attracts Tommy. With no-one else around who believes him about the constant attacks on him and his baby girl, Tommy believes the priest is the only one who can help him stop them.

Without spoiling the film for you, CITADEL has a few issues which I don’t feel work, as a viewer, and it’s mainly the hoodies. For the most part the film is so realistic, but as the ‘identity’ of the hoodies is revealed, it becomes less realistic than I’d hoped for. This is a bit of a blemish on what are some frightening, violent scenes. Despite this, director Ciaran Foy manages to make the film a solid thriller, with anyone living in a neighbourhood tormented by ruthless youths will understand. I liken this aspect to such films as Harry Brown and to a point, Eden Lake, though CITADEL is a story of its own. Of course, in the world there are people who say hoodies are misunderstood and just itching for attention. Whilst this may be true for a small percentage, that theory and view is explored in Citadel to oppose Tommy’s insistence that the hoodies are out to get his baby.

A tense, nightmare of a film, CITADEL is definitely worth a watch, but don’t expect a groundbreaking conclusion.

Rating: ★★★★★★½☆☆☆

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About Bat 4417 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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