Tommy Cowley lives a quiet life in a decaying apartment complex with his highly pregnant wife. The couple is attacked one day by a group of hooded young thugs, and after a shocking act of violence, Tommy is left to raise his newborn daughter alone. So shaken by the events that he's developed extreme agoraphobia, Tommy alternates days hiding out indoors in his new flat from imagined threats and intense therapy sessions aimed at bringing him back to normalcy. When the same hooded gang, seemingly intent on kidnapping his daughter, begins terrorizing his life again, he's torn between his paralyzing fear and protective parental instinct. With the help of a vigilante priest who has uncovered the genesis of this ruthless, potentially supernatural gang, Tommy must overcome his fears and venture into the heart of the abandoned tower block known as the CITADEL to save his family. … More
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Critic Reviews for Citadel
Despite its defiantly un-PC 'fear-a-hoodie' message, the film nails its urban setting, filling every frame with a richly sustained sense of despair, decay and dread.
This is a basic story, simply and directly told by Irish writer-director Ciaran Foy.
It's all rather nausea-inducing and a bit frightening - not the film (I can only wish) but its subtextual message.
"Citadel" attempts to transform mundane anxieties into the stuff of a horror film. But the initial tension of the premise dissipates like a slow leak.
While Foy's efforts to create his own distinct modern urban mythos are ambitious, the result isn't entirely satisfying.
A bare-bones man-against-his-worst-fears white knuckler, shot through deep, menacing shadows.
A familiar story of sinister creature frights and psychological horror gets a little boost from a gloomy mood of urban decay and isolation.
The film's pretty repugnant if taken as social commentary, but plays with contemporary fears and anxieties incredibly effectively.
Despite being innovatively directed and punchily edited, as a genre piece this is lacking in depth and genuine dread.
[A] confused, mostly clunky, but occasionally involving, low-budget horror/thriller ...
A lean and mean horror set in a shattered city that is both all-to-recognisable as broken Britain while also feeling totally alien.
An absorbing redemption tale this may be, but one that comes with a lot of baggage.
Drawing from his own experiences of agoraphobia following a brutal mugging, Foy has taken the emerging genre of "hoodie horror" and pushed it in novel and disturbing directions.
Plenty of pungent ideas and a nice line in urban terror. The final product falls short of the best in Brit horror, though.
A gritty sister to Philip Ridley's Heartless, this is similarly flawed but full of flair.
By literally dehumanizing its antagonists, Citadel not only muddles its political message but also undermines the gravity of its main character's circumstances.
Writer-director Ciaran Foy knows his job, even if he's never done it before -- this is his feature debut -- and he handles it well.
Although this film has a simple and predictable story setup, it takes a long time to develop. The first part of the film has a rather slow pace.
The concept eventually turns into predictably contrived genre fodder with muddled sociopolitical undercurrents.
Audience Reviews for Citadel
Add a rev After seeing his wife murdered by a gang of faceless kids in hoodies, a young father becomes an agoraphobic shut-in, but must face his fears when the same gang abducts his baby daughter and take her to the condemned tower block where the murder occurred. A noble attempt, but the enthusiastic first-time Irish writer/director focuses too much on creating psychological/sociological depth, leaving being scary and suspenseful as an afterthought.More
A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast and one of the hosts mentioned how good this movie was and how he thought it was the best horror movie of 2012. I had never heard of it, but decided to search it out and give it a shot. The premise is pretty good and creepy. It's about an Irish guy who's pregnant wife is murdered in front of him by this group of demonic kids. The baby survives, and he is left alone to raise the baby. He lives in fear of leaving his apartment for his and the baby's safety, because the kids still lurk in the community and are coming for them. There's a couple twists and turns best left for if you watch, but overall this isn't a very good movie. There's a couple really good scenes, but the rest drags and just doesn't seem to go anywhere. It's an Irish movie, so maybe an Americanized version will get made and it will be better, because I think there is a good movie to be made out of this material. This just isn't it. The acting is just "meh", and the movie is sometimes too dark where you can't get a good enough grasp of what is going on. I'm a big horror fan, and this just didn't meet my expectations. Having said that, I can see why people would think this is good, because it has a good creepiness to it. Watch at your own risk.More
The U.K media have a history of creating social panics and the demonizing of teenage "hoodies" is one of the current fads. This is the latest in a spate of U.K horror films to cash in on the bad press. Writer/director Foy goes one step further with his demonizing; his hooded villains are actually demons.
Barnard witnesses the brutal murder of his pregnant wife and lives as a shut in with his new-born daughter. The demons are after the child and Cosmo teams up with crazy priest Cosmo to defeat them. The location, an abandoned Glasgow tower block, lends the film a sinister vibe which it probably doesn't deserve. What starts off as an interesting take on social horror quickly develops into a second rate scare-fest.
Foy wrote this after suffering a violent attack by teens in Dublin so has a legitimate gripe but I feel this sort of ostracizing of young males does nobody any good.
A well made and ocasionally scary psychological thriller, Citadel fails mostly for being overly long and taking the easy route half way. It had something interesting to say and I was expecting a more visceral, bleak and no-easy-answers kind of thing but it turns to cliché and starts to loose interest when it does so.
The lead could've been a bit more likeable, but given the approach to his character, he has a pass. Fortunently the director can put some tense scenes rather well and shocking moments too and that saves the movie for the most part.
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