Citadel: How do you conquer your deepest fears and demons?

A debut feature film is taking pride of place in the collection of Premium Films on Walk this Way: Citadel, a psychological horror movie written and directed by Ciarán Foy

In Citadel, Tommy, a young father (Aneurin Barnard – Mary, Queen of Scots) who was left agoraphobic following an unprovoked attack on his pregnant wife, joins forces with a priest (James Cosmo – The Pyramid Texts, The Runway) in order to try to rescue his daughter from the clutches of a local gang of violent young “hoodies”. To overcome his fears, Tommy will have to face his demons and return to the place that scares him the most: the Citadel. 

Inspired by his own experience of being attacked by youths at the age of 18, which left him agoraphobic, the director carefully follows the codes of the horror film, by placing the protagonists in the realistic environment of a neglected, poor British suburb that is tyrannised by groups of young delinquents. Is the threat that Tommy feels human or supernatural? 

The story is an allegory about moral decay and violence in cities: is this real or a figment of our imagination? Will we become paranoid because of the news stories we see on the television? Or should we fight?

"It is ironic that we had to spend so much time outdoors in order to make a film in which the main character suffers from agoraphobia!" explain the producers of this British-Irish co-production, which was filmed during a severe cold spell in Glasgow, Scotland. "In these Siberian weather conditions, we had to face all sorts of problems (such as cancelled flights, impassable roads and the severe cold)." 

Presented with the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in 2012 and with the Award for Best Film ex aequo at the Galway Film Festival the same year, Citadel is currently available on video on demand in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Italy, France, Poland and Turkey.

14 October 2015, by Cineuropa