Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"Citadel": Inescapable, Inexplicable Horror 

Wednesday, Dec 19 2012

Reportedly inspired by a violent mugging experienced by writer-director Ciarán Foy, this hopelessly muddled horror movie takes place in a United Kingdom public housing high-rise so dingy and bleak you might feel that razing it would be a mercy. Tommy Cowley (Aneurin Barnard) and his very pregnant wife, Joanne (Amy Shiels), were planning to escape it, but as Citadel opens, Joanne is attacked in the hallway by a band of hooded, shrieking children who stab a dirty syringe into her belly. Her newborn survives, but Joanne dies, leaving Tommy with an infant he can't handle and a severe case of agoraphobia. Thanks to Barnard's exquisitely stressed-out performance, Foy builds a palpable sense of unease, but when it comes time to explain what was in that syringe, as well as the intentions of the little monsters who wielded it, the filmmaker fumbles. Tommy turns to an embittered priest (James Cosmo) for guidance, and the explanations become a blur of words that boil down to the least satisfying of answers. Here's a spoiler, if you care: If it's all in his head, Tommy would do well to conjure himself a nicer apartment.

About The Author

Chuck Wilson


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"