Tommy Cowley is a young father inflicted with chronic agoraphobia since his wife was brutally attacked by a gang of a twisted feral children. Trapped in the dilapidated suburbia of Edenstown, he finds himself terrorised by the same gang, who now seem intent on taking his baby daughter. Torn between the help of an understanding nurse and a vigilante priest, Tommy sets out to learn the nightmarish truth surrounding these hooded children. He also discovers that to be free of his fears, he must finally face the demons of his past and enter the one place that he fears the most - the abandoned tower block known as the Citadel. Written by
The whole film was shot with a hand-held camera. See more »
When Tommy leaves his home near the start of the film to take the baby to the centre, by his front door there is a phone base with no phone, when he returns later there is a phone in the cradle. See more »
This is what I'm talking about. Just when you think you're so jaded that nothing can affect you, along comes a film that straddles the line between horror and harrowing drama with the effectiveness of the movies that caused the worst nightmares of your childhood! Citadel flew under the radar back in 2012 and I can see why. It's too grim for the average viewer; the kind of people who seek to escape reality with the absurdity of popcorn movies. Citadel does not want you to escape. It wants to drag you deeper into the cold, black depths of its own private hell. That it does with perfect writing, directing, acting and location.
Too often the torch of "best horror film since..." is passed onto the rip-offs that have no intention of producing originality. They seek recognition for their ability to mimic their betters. Citadel is all alone in its personal nightmare, but if you see it, it will drag you in.
It's amazing how, with the right tools at your disposal, simplicity can lead to such profound filmmaking. Citadel's strengths may seem few at first glance, but through amazing acting on behalf of its lead character, the psychology of fear - the victim mentality, the onset of panic and anxiety, and a visceral insight into post-traumatic stress syndrome - can leap to the viewer like a virus.
With elements of Harry Brown and Tyrannosaur, Citadel is one hyper-real Aphex Twin urban nightmare, shameless in its teasing of the nerves and building atmosphere and suspense like the steam inside a pressure cooker.
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