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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I fell under a horror movie high one day and decided to search for the
best horror films of 2012. I clicked on various different lists and
this movie was featured on nearly all of them. I looked at its IMDb
rating and was disappointed with its low rating so I didn't really feel
motivated to see it. But I was at Wal Mart and saw this movie there on
sale and I just impulsively purchased it hoping the low rating on here
was wrong. I am very glad I decided to buy this movie.
A young man is left widowed and damaged with agoraphobia after his pregnant wife is randomly attacked by a group of hooded kids. The baby is saved while the wife is left comatose for a few months until she finally passes. The young man is now raising the daughter alone in his panicked agoraphobic state. Then one day the hooded kids kidnap his daughter. With the help of a badmouthed priest and his son, he must rescue his daughter and learn the truth about these demonic hooded children.
Don't be fooled by the clichéd plot. This movie is one of the more original horror films in the past 10 years. Its a shame it hasn't found a decent release in the US. I'm sure if this was given a theatrical release during the Halloween season it would've been a decent hit. This is the second best traditional horror movie released in 2012 behind Sinister in my opinion. There is something just eerie and unsettling about this film. The terror starts off within 5 minutes with a heart pumping intro. Then the more dramatic aspect takes place for about 20 minutes so that we can get to know the characters. The last half of the movie is just genius horror film making. Sure many things are questionable about this movie, but who cares? Its a great spooky film to watch in the dark alone or with a lover or friends. The cinematography is very well done for a first time director. The directing itself reminded me of Danny Boyles '28 Days Later' in some aspects. The acting is pretty good for a low budget film. There are many scenes that are just perfectly executed even though some of the characters decisions are typical Horror movie clichés. There is a fantastically creeping scene on the bus that will surely stick with most viewers long after seeing this movie. The music is great and ominous. The music that plays at the end and through the ending credits is very beautiful and creepy at the same time. The demonic hooded children are some of the scariest horror villains in a long time. Many old school horror fans will think of 'The Brood' when they see the evil kids in this film. But honestly these kids are more menacing and scary. The director is certainly someone to watch out for in the future.
Currently the film has a pretty low score of 5.3 based on around only 1,000 votes here on IMDb as I type this review. Though the movie is not popular yet among US viewers since it has only seen a DVD/Blu Ray release without any advertisement, I think it has potential to explode in popularity. I do hope that the horror fans that appreciate true good horror will spread the word on this movie and help it become the cult classic it is destined to be. Hopefully the rating goes up. Trust me, this movie is one of the good horror movies. It's honestly worth a purchase or at least a redbox rental. Give it a shot if you need a fresh simple horror movie to scare you for the night. *I've discovered that this movie has recently been available for streaming on Netflix. I hope that slowly helps bring up its popularity and acclaim.*
"Citadel" is a Irish film directed by Cairan Foy that follows a young
father through is journey into darkness as he battles despair and
tragedy. After the senseless death of the mother of his child which
forces the baby into the world prematurely the father soon faces a
nightmare even greater in his quest to provide a life for his child. He
struggles with agoraphobia and social anxiety which he soon confronts
as he comes face to face with the dangerous youths that terrorize the
neighborhood. The film stars Aneurin Barnard, Wunmi Mosaku, Amy
Shields, James Cosmo and Jake Wilson. It is a deep social commentary
which plays out in horrendous exaggeration of society at it's most
"Citadel" delves deep into the dark and sinister realm of social collapse. As a neighborhood goes through slow rehabilitation a twisted reality unfolds. Savage and untamed youths lay siege to a tower block in the community killing anyone who crosses their path and stealing the children. The story has a sort of melancholic atmosphere which pulls at your emotions as it draws you into the story. It flows from moments of casual melodrama and intense suspensefulness that makes most of the scenes feel for intense than they really are. It creates an almost nervous anticipation for during most of the film. It is a truly dark story which expresses a lot of emotion and desperation as a movie goer watching the story unfold that is an added bonus. The revealing cause of the vicious nature of the youths terrorizing the community is truly sinister but could have been played up a little more than it is in the movie. There is a slight imbalance between the slower more emotional scenes and the intense thrill scenes. However not enough of an issue to not find this movie pleasurable. It is disturbing and kind of twisted. I really enjoyed the more vulnerable and heartfelt approach to horror this film takes.
From the Irish and Scottish film boards a nice gritty horror that plays out like a great short story. Quite creepy with solid main performances from Cosmo (Braveheart and Game of Thrones) a world class actor and newcomer Barnard. This reminds me of another similarly gritty Celtic collaboration. A great Urban horror set in dangerous Scottish estates abandoned it seems by police and society where fear breeds. The agoraphobia of the main character is done well I thought and that different angle and its subsequent analogy of escaping from the hopeless forgotten edges of society added another dimension to the main character. Cosmo is great as always as the unorthodox priest and you'll not be seeing him waving about any bibles trying to dispossess anyone. The only complaint I will make is a scene which isn't really essential in which some dodgy CGI is employed. The main character might look a bit over made up in his attempt to look like a sleep deprived fear driven man, but otherwise I really enjoyed this film done on an extremely modest budget displaying just how to make a modern urban horror.
Although this film was made thanks to sponsorship from the Irish film board, it is far from a piece of Catholic dogma. The character who plays the priest renounces religion entirely and the film's horror is an original and recent addition to the genre. It's full of good ideas and can be related to relatively recent phenomena; the urban sprawl and the creation of enormous flatblocks outside city centres, prevalent across the United Kingdom. Most frighteningly perhaps it represents the disaffected youth who hide themselves from the enormous collection of security cameras which dictate their life. Spawns of drug selling youth hide their identity behind hoodies; who'd have guessed 20 years ago that being approached by a group of youth wearing tracksuits would be such a menacing phenomenon. In this film creative use is made of this fear. The film is far from perfect, but most important is its originality, fear is created the way it should be, as suspense, and the implication of the horror created by its themes don't require an enormous spilling of blood or disgusting special effects to disquiet and disturb you. I'm glad I saw this film; it proves again that truly good additions to the genre, don't originate from Hollywood and don't require its approval to be made.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I wasn't sure how to rate this movie. I really liked the acting of Aneurin Barnard as the young father of a baby girl whose wife was violated by a bunch of kids and died as a result. His agoraphobia and fear that those kids might hurt him or his daughter looked very convincing to me. However once those evil kids got hold of his daughter there is an attempt to put some more action in the movie. The back story of the building (the citadel) and its inhabitants (the evil kids), it's worked out rather poorly. The inclusion of the blind boy was pretty good but the role of the priest was rather unfitting. I don't mind movies with a small cast but here the lack of people in the streets severed the movie's quality and overall enjoyment.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
**major spoilers!!** I keep seeing reviews on here where people just
didn't get it, miss important plot points and didn't listen to what the
priest clearly explained. The children came from 1 girl, pregnant yet
had contracted a disease. The baby twins she had interbred, and so due
to this and the infection they became mutated. Hence, they are
attracted to (and the priest tells us all this) fear, they can only see
the red mist if people that are fearful. When our hero gains his
bravery he in effect becomes invisible to them. This is also explained
by young Danny who says..more than once.. "I can't see you". He was one
of the children that escaped the tower, and he was beginning to become
one of the feral kids but escaped before his transformation. This also
explains the caged kids in the basement being transformed into the
feral kids to join the hunt as night time packs.
I really don't understand why people didn't get this, and consequently gave this movie such a poor rating.
I do normally take a look at other reviews of the films I watch, just
to see if other people got something that I missed. Here, I think I
must have been watching a completely different film. If you check out a
lot of the online reviews of 'Citadel' then you'll be told it's one of
the best modern horror films ever.
It just bored me.
It's an Irish horror film about a young man who witnesses his wife being murdered by demon children, leaving him an agoraphobic. He later meets up with a - slightly bonkers - old priest and they team up to fight the aforementioned demon hoodies.
It's an okay enough idea (I've seen worse), but I didn't find any of the characters interesting or likable, plus the children weren't that scary (well, no more than their identical clones you see hanging around every off license up and down the country).
Yes, it was presented in a reasonably different way which made it clear they were trying to steer away from the Hollywood style of film-making. But, at the end of the day, it didn't take away from the fact that it bored me.
Others obviously disagreed. Fair enough.
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
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.
I had heard a lot about Citadel, so perhaps I went into this movie
expecting too much. I also think that if I hadn't already seen 'Ils'
('Them') that I would have thought this flic was a lot better.
The one thing that I liked about both Citadel and Ils is that both are intelligent horror films which are metaphors for something deeper than what is on the surface. Ils deals with Xenophobia (or rather, it could be argued is a piece of Xenophobic propaganda lol), and Citadel, which has a similar plot, is a metaphor about the fear of becoming a parent.
On an intellectual level I thought that Citadel had a lot going for it. Unfortuntately, it just reminded me too much of Ils in the stylistic department, and even worse, it just couldn't measure up.
Don't get me wrong, this one is light years ahead of most horror movies, but there are also a lot better ones out there.
Citadel centers on Tommy, a recently widowed father and his newborn daughter as he begins to cope with the loss of his wife after a brutal attack by local hoodlums. In trying to cope with the loss, Tommy begins to develop a fear of living life and soon he begins to be stalked by her attackers. Citadel is an impressive debut and serves an original idea up but relies heavily on a slow burn screenplay that doesn't always serve it justice. Despite some ultra elongated scenes, Citadel is creepy, violent and very atmospheric. Directed by Ciarian Foy, the film works as a psychological thriller done much in the vein of Them and The Strangers and ends up being a bit of a combo of both. Foy, who also wrote the film, knows how to deliver some hard hitting drama and gets very good performances out of Aneurin Barnard and James Cosmo but he spends entirely too much time creating a slow burn thriller that it tends to drift into some truly low key moments that just are not all that interesting. The first ten minutes are very straight forward and are delivered very well, then Foy decides to spend the next twenty five minutes analyzing agoraphobia. It is interesting for the first couple scenes but Foy seems to keep it frustratingly slow up until the third act. Still, nonetheless, when Citadel kicks off it, it really kicks. The final twenty minutes are very well crafted and, while a bit ridiculous, serves as a very satisfying end to the film. On a technical level, Citadel is on point. Most notably from behind the scenes would be the cinematography. The entire film is done hand held, and really submerses you into this frightening vision of Ireland. It is most certainly the highlight of the film. Overall, Citadel may satisfy some fans of films like House of the Devil, Them, and The Strangers but it doesn't have the spark it needs to be truly engrossing.
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