Review: Citadel / Cert: 15 / Director: Ciaran Foy / Screenplay: Ciaran Foy / Starring: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku / Release Date: September 30th
Lauded at horror festivals last year, this low budget but high tension nightmare finally hits the UK.
Tommy (Barnard) is left emotionally crippled and literally holding the baby when his pregnant wife dies after being attacked in the run-down tower block they were on the verge of moving from. He seeks therapy for his agoraphobia, determined to get out of his situation for the sake of his daughter, Elsa. Things get worse when, as predicted by the local foul-mouthed priest (Cosmo), the feral hooded thugs come looking to take the infant.
The image of hooded youngsters terrorising neighbourhoods, tower blocks and run-down estates is becoming a regular trope in British horror films, but first time director Foy attempts to do something a little different with them here. Although it doesn't completely work, the fear and terror felt by the protagonist is easy to relate to. Barnard is brilliant as the youngster thrown into a situation where he must look after a newborn when his emotional state means he can't even look after himself. Foy has drawn from his own experiences for this character, and you certainly feel that fear along with him. It's a shame then, that the tension and anxiety becomes undermined by the somewhat hokey explanation for the wild youths. The redemption story could have easily worked without it, especially as the most terrifying monster is actually Tommy's own inner turmoil. That said, for the most part, it is a tense and often terrifying ride, and no doubt one which will resonate with many young parents and those frustrated and disabled by their own inner demons.