WINNER: Midnighters Audience Award, South by Southwest 2012
WINNER: H.R. Giger Narcisse Award for Best Film, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival 2012
WINNER: Silver Méliès for Best European Fantastic Film, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
WINNER: Special Mention from the Mad Movies Jury, Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival
WINNER: Best First Irish Feature Film, Galway Film Fleadh
“Skillfully taps into primal fears and urban paranoia… intensely suspenseful” – Joe Leydon, VARIETY
“A stellar debut and effective piece of horror filmmaking” – Renn Brown, CHUD.COM
Trapped behind the portcullis of a stalled elevator, young father-to-be Tommy (IRONCLAD’s Aneurin Barnard) witnesses his pregnant wife brutally attacked by a group of hooded children — leaving her bloodied and braindead as he pulls a hypodermic needle from her abdomen and cries out in anguish for help. Handed his newborn daughter mere seconds after paramedics cart his bloodied wife away to a hospice, the emotionally-shattered father becomes terrified of setting foot outside his new home. Haunted by images of her pint-sized attackers and the abandoned tower block known as the Citadel, he becomes an unstable recluse, leaving the padlocked safety of his flat only to attend therapy. As those around Tommy urge that his paranoia will ultimately cripple him and his child, he’s unexpectedly accosted by a wild-eyed priest (BRAVEHEART’s James Cosmo) who warns, “They’re going to come looking for her”. From then on, Tommy’s fears begin manifesting themselves in the flesh, and the snarling pack of feral children who destroyed his wife are suddenly back, angrier than ever — and after his daughter. Now, in order to free himself and save his child, Tommy has to stand his ground, face down his fears, and re-enter the dark Citadel that his bloodthirsty, diminutive attackers call home.
Writer/director Ciarán Foy makes a stunning feature debut with this nail-biting, pitch-perfect thriller that turns the desolate urban landscape of snow-dusted Ireland into an unrelenting nightmare. Set primarily against the blinding daylight and featuring a string score from music collective tomandandy, CITADEL’s small cast delivers powerhouse performances which deftly let this stunning import balance slow-burn and high-octane without ever conceding to the other. Equal parts dark drama and dynamic horror, this Emerald Isle pulse-pounder is what you get when HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE and THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS are pureed into a Guinness gravy and poured atop THE RAID. So raise your trembling pint and cry out a “Sláinte!” for CITADEL — because in a world starved for thrilling original genre fare, it’s precisely what you want on your plate.
— Ted Geoghegan