Release Date: 9 November 2012
Except for the nod we gave to the Italians for their contributions to the horror and giallo genres of the 70s and 80s, the horror industry was a fairly insular creature in America until Japan wedged a foot in the door. Maybe American slashers were finally becoming too referential. Maybe the preponderance of sequels and prequels drove us to solace from without our borders. Whatever the reason, within the last decade we’ve been treated to an international insurgence of excellent films from the aforementioned Japan, Korea, France, Spain, England, Australia, and Sweden. Ireland, fairly successful within the genre with films including Wake Wood and Shrooms, looks to be making a serious bid for notoriety with the unnerving Citadel.
Looking like a cross between Ils and The Horde, Citadel did well at the SXSW festival this year. The film follows Tommy, whose pregnant wife (I know. They’re always pregnant) is killed by a group of child-thugs. He’s left to care for his newborn daughter, but an ominous looking priest warns Tommy his daughter might be next to die. The tagline here is “They see your fear” and as our protagonist, the problem with Tommy is that he’s afraid of everything since his wife died. How is he going to protect his daughter?
Everything here from the grim priest, to the murderous children, to the scaredy-cat hero seems like it shouldn’t work, but there’s something about the trailer that has me excited to view this film. Let me say one thing: killer kids don’t work for me. I feel like I’m probably in the minority when I say this, but when I see a bloody kid hovering over a body with an axe, I think ridiculous… not scary. Luckily, the glimpses we see of the kiddie killers show us there’s something not quite right about these vicious little beings. Ireland! Please tell me you’ve made a movie about Redcaps!