Director: Ciaran Foy
Stars: Aneurin Barnard, James Cosmo, Wunmi Mosaku, Amy Shiels
Like Bram Stoker’s legendary Count craves blood, horror fans fiend for original ideas, which is, ultimately, a mostly thankless approach to one’s entertainment choices. But every now and then, a little genre flick comes along offers fresh ideas while cleverly tweaking classic tropes; at this year’s SXSW Film Festival, that movie is the Irish adrenaline rush called Citadel.
Inspired by his own battles with intense agoraphobia, Irish writer-director Ciaran Foy’s taut creepshow centers on Tommy (Aneurin Barnard), an afraid-of-everything, single, widowed father who’s been traumatized after an attack by a gang of hoodie-wearing kids; turns out, the youngsters aren’t all that young, but, rather, feral, zombie-like ghouls that can only see fear. Which, naturally, sucks for an agoraphobic guy, especially when his infant daughter’s been abducted by the hooded villains.
Citadel jumps right into the macabre, showcasing the badass creature-like antagonists right away and never leaving them in the shadows; clearly confident about his self-conceived horror, Foy generates a slew of wicked set-pieces, the best of which turns a public bus into a bloodbath. He’s a genre filmmaker to watch.