Toronto After Dark Film Festival 2012: Citadel

A burnt-out tenement block in one of the poorest, most desperate areas of London. A roving gang of hoodie-clad hooligans, equal parts zombie and meth-addict. A young father, crippled with agoraphobia. This is the world that Cieran Foy paints in Citadel, and it's one he knows all too well. Having been attacked himself when he was 18, Foy brings the fear and anxiety of being victimized to life through his lead, Tommy.  

When Tommy's pregnant wife is attacked, Tommy is forced to defend himself and his newborn daughter from a group of 'hoodies', a merciless group of what may as well be zombies. We see him attend group therapy to deal with his trauma, and experience his desperation every time he leaves his house. It's about the darkest film I've seen all year.

It's frankly difficult not to be troubled by the bleakness of the message presented here. The film is telling us, in multiple ways, that these attackers are beyond help and beyond hope, which is about the scariest place one can possibly be. Foy's masterful camera work keeps things tightly on Tommy, intensifying the feeling of claustrophobia and paranoia he's also going through.  

Citadel has provided me with some of the most genuine scares of the festival so far — it's a story that feels so familiar while being unfraid of going to extremely dark places. A brilliant effort for Foy and I can't wait to see what he does next.  


Stay tuned all week for more reviews from the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. You can find them all here.

This review was written by Sachin Hingoo, a freelance writer when he is not working at an office job that is purpose-built for paying the bills while he works as a freelance writer.  His writing has appeared on, the CBC Street Level Blog,, and The Midnight Madness Blog for the Toronto International Film Festival. He has also been featured at Toronto lecture series Trampoline Hall (which is rumored to be excellent). His mutant power is 'feigning interest'. You can read all of his posts here.
Photo: A still from Cieran Foy's Citadel


Adam Bunch said...

Neat. That old dude looks to be the same actor who plays the priest who's all about "saving the child" in Sons Of Anarchy.

Sachin Hingoo said...

Yes! I think he might be a little typecast in that role, haha.

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