Citadel (2013)

I’ve been slacking updating you on the various films I’ve been watching – in fact there are at least 20+ I’ve watched over the past week or two but this one really stood out for me.

Citadel tells the story of an agoraphobic young man living in a housing estate pending re-generation, a place so rough the buses won’t even stop close to the tower blocks.  At the start of the film his wife is attacked and hospitalised by some violent synringe-wielding children, leaving him terrified to leave the house and looking after their newborn baby.

Past there I really didn’t know what to expect, but even as I was watching the film (eventually) unfold to a somewhat obvious conclusion it was absolutely gripping.  The reason for that is an exceptional performance from Aneurin Barnard as Tommy, he’s falling apart and you can really feel it.  Vulnerable, tired, afraid – everything is sold perfectly making for a really compelling character.  The supporting characters are decent too, but it’s Tommy you’ll end up watching the film for.

The feral kids make for some pretty uncomfortable horror too, for a while.  There’s a brief and mocking take on a social message in there, but “they’re just deprived kids” is very quickly put to rest.  I’ve lived in an area before full of aggressive kids in hoods, and while they didn’t threaten me they did threaten my property just out of the blue.  They’re scary because they’re real.

The end of the film is weaker than the rest, it turns into a straight horror flick at that point, but it’s still well worth watching.  Special note on the soundtrack, it’s very low tempo until the end where it comes alive, very effective.