Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: Citadel (2012)

Review by Disgruntled Monkey

Director: Ciaran Foy
Starring: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku
Writer: Ciaran Foy

'Hoodie Horror' is a genre of film from Britain. Dealing with the fear of youths dressed in hoodies it certainely plays on a growing concern in peoples minds. The genre isn't solely a horror genre as films like Harry Brown clearly belong to this urban fear. So how does Citadel do in this evolving genre?

In my mind it knocks it out of the bloody park. Taking a psychological paranormal brush to the idea's behind 'Hoodie Horror,' Citadel creates a deeply depressing world that shows a decaying urban area reaching all new lows. While it may create a tone that would turn people away, there is something truly special happening that can draw others in.

Tommy (Aneurin Barnard) is moving out of his condemned block of flats when his pregnant wife is stabbed by some youths in hoodie's. She survives long enough to give birth but is left in a coma. Moving forward in time we have a now agoraphobic Tommy battling his psychological break down as well as trying to raise a daughter. On the eve of his wife having her life support stopped, the same hooded youths come back into his life with an intent to steal his baby daughter from him.

As you can tell the story is a major bummer, that coupled with the bleak imagery and slow lingering pace that never wants to give you a reprieve, Citadel is not a movie for people looking for an easy viewing experience. Ciaran Foy who both wrote and directed this film know exactly what he wants to do and i'm excited for what he will do in the future. That man sure knows how to make you feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately Citadel isn't a perfect film. The acting is a little over the place. Sometimes it feels spot on, but on occasion Aneurin can overplay it. It's the same for James Cosmo who plays a particularly foul mouthed priest. Also the origin of the supernatural hoodie members is a little silly. Ciaran Foy is careful not to over explain them, but perhaps even less explanation would of been better. Just having these beings be a symptom of the urban decay and leaving it at that would have been better.

Besides these honestly small negatives, the movie is still brilliant and I highly recommend it to people. It both powerful but a very depressing trip that is well worth the time invested. Get out there now and watch a leader in the 'Hoodie Horror,' genre.

0.5 hoodie out of 1
Depressing but enthralling.
1 hoodie out of 1
Despite some over expository, it's remains powerful.
0.5 hoodie out of 1
Can be good but it wavers too much.
1 hoodie out of 1
Strong idea creates a strong atmosphere.
1 hoodie out of 1
Simple yet effectively convey's a decaying urban landscape

4 hoodies out of 5
Brilliant horror movie that captures a dark world.


  1. I was on the fence about whether or not to watch this one... you've convinced me. Thanks!

  2. Glad I could help, and I hope you enjoy.