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Reviews & Ratings for
Citadel More at IMDbPro »

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12 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Rotting Hood

Author: Tony Bush from United Kingdom
10 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Aneurin Barnard (last seen in ELFIE HOPKINS) is Tommy, a young man living in a cancerously decaying inner city tower block with his young expectant wife. Just as they are about to move out of this hell hole to a house, Tommy's wife is attacked by a trio of hooded, feral youths whilst he is unable to intervene, and ends up in a coma for nine months. Life support is switched off and Tommy now has to raise his child alone.

This would be bad enough, but now the demonic hoodies want Tommy's baby and begin to stalk the pair. Added to this is the fact that Tommy is now crippled by agoraphobia, anxiety and panic attacks which leave him a shuddering, shaking, crumbling mental and physical wreck barely able to function.

This is a superb horror movie, full of dazzling and nail-bitingly scary creative flashes. The shrieking gang of haunting hoodies are glimpsed in the reflective surfaces of car doors, electric kettles or dashing past in the background. They are depicted as a genuinely menacing and frightening phenomenon, possibly supernatural, possibly genetic mutations – maybe even manifestations of Tommy's disintegrating psyche. They grow in number and emerge more frequently from the shadows as the film progresses, ever more confident in pursuit of their quest.

The visualisation of the desolate slum-land is brilliantly realised and the shocks and scares are cleverly orchestrated. Barnard gives a performance that is a masterclass of pathos and human frailty. One of the best on screen representations of a character ravaged and decimated by fear and grief ever witnessed – yes, I'll go that far.

So, the ex-IRA fallen priest with a solution involving plastique and North Sea Gas is a loud and blustering caricature; and the "love interest" rings a bit hollow – what would a gorgeous and sexy black nurse want with a disturbed, gibbering loser like Tommy? Put that aside and what you have is a lean, atmospheric, nervy and incisive little chiller that deserves attention. This is the sort of film the genre can't have too many of.

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15 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Fun, frantic and not too bad for the frights

Author: nthrooch from Edinburgh, Scotland
11 November 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Just got back from seeing this at the Stockholm film festival, and you can imagine my surprise as an overseas Scot to come across this fun horror of psychotic chavs (or "neds" as we call them) in Glasgow!

I can say without hesitation there are no acting awards to be had here, but so rarely do horror films deliver such. This is basically exactly what you would expect. It is dark, frantic, peppered with moments that made my partner jump or squirm in her seat, and kept pace throughout.

A rough synopsis, Tommy, a man living in a run down, high rise block in Glasgow watches his pregnant girlfriend get beaten into a coma by chavs. He is then struck with extreme (and fairly justified, considering) agoraphobia. Still living in that terrible area, but now caring for the child that has now been birthed (his wife still in a coma). From here the kids he saw brutalise his wife are still stalking the neighbourhood, and he thinks of escaping. He then happens upon a crazed Priest, who informs him that the kids aren't normal, and that Tommy must help him get to the bottom of the problem.

As far as a premise goes, I'd give this one points for originality. Most other films with chavs as the enemy (Eden Lake for example) just have them as real kids. This mixes it up, having the chavs really come to life as horror foes. Their cackling, scratching demeanour really sells it, and the make up for the feral junkies is fantastic. The scares aren't over-sold, nor cheap, and the film never crawls. The end is a touch simple and abrupt, but all in all, and entertaining horror romp. I'd definitely recommend it for a rent, perhaps even a buy for the real horror fans.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Not a terrible movie

Author: reelbloody from United States
5 January 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Have you ever seen the synopsis for a movie and thought to yourself, "Oh yea, this is gonna be great!" only to be let down within the first 30 minutes? Well, this happened to me this week. I checked out a film called Citadel. No, it was not about a college in Charleston, SC for military kids, it is an Irish film written and directed by Ciaran Foy. Citadel is about a father who teams up with what I call an insane priest to save his daughter from a gang of violent, demented kids. Sounds pretty cool, right? Well, here are my thoughts: I will start by saying that I really wanted to like this movie...I did. The first few minutes you get a little action and then you're like "Okay, here we go." I spent the next 15 minutes of boredom only trying to convince myself that the main character was not played by John Mayer because if I didn't find something to keep me interested, I would have fallen asleep. Listen, this movie is not a total poop fest, it isn't. I think the problem is, it just was not MY cup of tea. I have spoken with people who liked it, and I did not immediately want to hurl things at their faces...I understood.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A slow burn horror thriller that seems to be missing something

Author: trublu215 from United States
31 January 2015

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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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Battling Fear Itself

Author: PhilipGHarris from United Kingdom
11 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Citadel is an excellent example of how to make a horror film and manage your budget successfully. Unlike many other horror films the writer/directors intention are realised well, the abandoned buildings make an exceptionally atmospheric and filmic setting and the main feature of plot and story is not abandoned for cheap effects.

Filmed in the dead of winter the ice and snow only adds to the greyness of the lead characters world. Tony has lost almost everything and suffered Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result,making him terrified of going out for fear of assault. His wife, who he witnesses being attacked at the hands of hooded youths, is the route of this trauma and being left with a newly born daughter merely adds to his woes. Early in the film he is simply stifled by fear of everything but his therapy sessions and the friendship of the nurse caring for his wife, Marie, allow him to try and move on.

After meeting a priest who claims the hooded youths will return for his daughter Tommy's life changes as he gets more fearful of this day and makes an attempt to escape from his life, only to find he is drawn closer to his terrors. The priest and the young blind boy, Danny, he cares for leading him to finally face his fears.

Using modern concerns about society and twisting them neatly Ciaran Foy has created a selection of interesting characters and woven them together to create an enjoyably tense and disturbing tale. This is significantly helped by the four main characters and their actors, Tommy (Aneurin Barnard), the priest (James Cosmo), Marie (Wunmi Mosaku) and Danny (Jake Wilson) who all have interesting parts to play and are obviously fully engaged in the project.

Effects are meagre throughout the film but are used to add to the atmosphere and the message about facing or at least realising fear is well made with an ending that completes the heroes journey.

Direction throughout is good, with classic build ups to shocks and scares which work well; that's why they're classics. The cinematography is clear, directing the watchers eye to the horror and the sound effects are used well.

If you're looking for big budget special effects in your horror this is not the film for you but if you're after something more claustrophobic and disturbing, playing on modern beliefs about customs and morality then Citadel is worthy of 90 minutes of your time.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Well worth the price & time!

Author: daggersineyes from Australia
20 August 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an above average suspense thriller that's worth spending your time watching.

I read the reviews before watching and noticed that all the "bad" reviews were sparse, extreme in their negativity, often childishly rude and spent more time trying to sound clever than actually explaining why it wasn't a good movie. On the other hand the good reviews generally seemed honest, straight-forward and well-considered with people giving balanced and thoughtful commentary on how they felt. That's what tipped it in favour of me giving the movie a try and I'm glad I did.

The lead actor was brilliant as the cringing, aggro-phobic new father. The fact that some viewers have whined about him being "irritating" and needing to "man-up" is actually a great testimony to the guys acting ability as well as a sad reflection on the truth of many people's complete inability to comprehend that particular disability. I sincerely hope none of you ever suffer an assault serious enough to afflict you with it.

Anyway, back to the movie. The story was good with some great acting (esp the lead) and some okay acting (the priest, the blind kid). Very well filmed and the direction was excellent drawing you in emotionally as well as delivering a tense atmosphere of brooding suspense. There's a delightful nod to The Brood with the hooded characters but interestingly they are very grey in this movie - in stark contrast to Cronenberg's bright primary colours. That is a defining part of this flick - it's a lot of shades of grey in it's cinematography and very little colour, very much in keeping with the film's story & underlying themes of social decay. This is a clever aspect of the directing that I really appreciated.

It does drag a couple of times but not enough to stop me watching and it has some genuinely heart-wrenching moments that draws you very much into the characters and makes you care about them. I realise it's a shoe- string budget affair and that's made me raise it's rating slightly because they managed to put together one of the better efforts of recent years without having the benefit of a big budget. My biggest beef is with the ending which seemed abrupt and left me thinking "um.... is that it?". More could have been done with it - even on a budget - a bit more payback, more fight-back from the two "heroes" and just a more OTT ending would have really elevated this movie.


Also, I felt like there was a sub-plot going on that got dropped but could have been used for a very nice open-ending to the movie ... (involving the baby girl - I wont say too much but for those who've seen it remember what the cause of death was for the first victim....and put that together with what the Priest said a few times about some kind of infection!)It felt like they meant to go somewhere with the "cause of death" thing but it never really surfaced again.

All in all I recommend this movie to fans of thrillers and suspense movies as well as those interested in human drama. It might appeal to some horror fans too but doesn't have a lot of on-screen violence/gore. Well worth viewing.

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4 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Not what i expected

Author: rmaranjyan from Canada
1 April 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this movie because one of my friends said it was one of the scariest movies she has ever seen.....i can tell you that i'm not going to trust her opinion on horror movies anymore, as this movie is not scary at all: just couple of "jump" moments. To the monster children are creepy, but could have been made so much better.

The idea itself was interesting, but i think they should have made the movie much scarier and actually intense.

As many previous reviews stated: the main character is annoying!!! I understand that he was a victim and saw his wife and child being attacked by monster children, but his behavior is too just too much! Shows how people really became these days.....

I believe if you can overlook his whining during the entire movie, you might like it, might like the idea. i personally didn't like the movie, even though i was watching it in the middle of the night.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

I obviously didn't get it

Author: bowmanblue from United Kingdom
29 September 2014

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.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Agoraphobia is a killer...

Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark
14 August 2013

Unfathomably dull and boring. "Citadel" is one of the more pointless and irrelevant movies that I have seen in a while. You just sit there throughout the movie and think "why?"

The story is about a family that live in a condemned building, where the Tommy (played by Aneurin Barnard) see his wife stabbed down by hooded strangers. Their unborn baby is miraculously saved, but the wife dies. Alone with the child, Tommy is given a strange warned by an odd priest (played by James Cosmo) that 'they will come for her'. Tommy's fear intensifies and grows more extreme as his home gets invaded by these hooded strangers and they seem to be haunting his every trail.

There were no thrills to this movie, and the storyline was just downright silly and a waste of time, in my opinion. I just didn't get the meaning of this movie.

The things that the movie has working for it is the production value, and also the performances put on by Aneurin Barnard and James Cosmo, particularly the latter actor. And also the pace in which the movie tells it story and progresses, it is quickly up in gear and the movie stays in high pace.

"Citadel" is an odd movie that doesn't appeal to a broad audience. I am sure there there is a segment in the audience that the movie will cater and they will find great enjoyment in the movie. I, however, wasn't fond or entertained by this movie in any way.

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5 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Urban horror about demonic youth – or is it!?

Author: UnluckyLuke from Germany
19 March 2013

Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) is plagued by misfortune. His girlfriend is attacked and killed by gangster children in the common apartment. The case is dropped because of lack of evidence. Now he is alone with the raising of Elsa, the common baby, and forced to be brave, Tommy doesn't manage. Alone and isolated, he now lives in a shabby suburban flat and develops a fear that prevents him from leaving the house. But the demons of the past find him even there, breaking in and ravage the apartment. The kids, who killed his girlfriend, like Tommy says. And this time they're after Baby Elsa. Now time has come to fight the demons...

CITADEL, the debut of Irish director Ciaran Foy, reminds in many ways of the French Comet-Horror DEAD SHADOWS, but especially of the English movie HEARTLESS, mainly because of his Hoodie Monster. As a viewer you will be long kept in the dark about what these hoodie kids, who also remind of the Satankids from the "Come to Daddy"-Music Video by Aphex Twin, really are. Whether demons, zombies, possessed ones or simply but only dis-social behaving, aggression and violence as a way of life practicing youth from the lowest social class. Hard to say. The film will define that a little clearer, but it raises the question whether you take the showings at their word, or perhaps should lenses behind the facade of his imagery. Much of CITADEL's plot is metaphorical and worth of interpretation, as if one should not accept what is offered visually. Take the main character Tommy: a sissy, a crybaby, a weakling of superlatives. He has the word "sacrifice" literally written on his forehead. The few people, with whom Tommy maintains contact, doubt his version of the zombie children and that they have targeted Elsa. Much more logical it would be Tommy as an outsider and Wunderling stamped with mental h problems. Only a boorish priest - played by James Cosmo (Braveheart, Trainspotting) - Tommy helps to fight the personified evil. They both go to the crime scene from the past, a ruin-like high-rise complex, and deliver a showdown with the demonized kiddies.

CITADEL is not easy to watch, which actually may be an advantage, because it brings the brain to work. Offered are typical horror movie elements like shockers and an all-encompassing darkness, which destroys any lust for life. Taking Citadel and its plot literally, it is not the most satisfying horror movie. Recognizing its intuition and its therapeutic value, you'll find a very interesting piece of independent cinema.

Resume: Super dark urban horror of emotional cripples, personalized fears and demon kids. From the psychological point very interesting.

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