\"Welsh

Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard is the haunted young man at the center of Irish director Ciaran Foy's debut feature Citadel.

Exclusive - Irish horror “Citadel” set to send chills down US spines - VIDEO

\"Welsh

Welsh actor Aneurin Barnard is the haunted young man at the center of Irish director Ciaran Foy's debut feature Citadel.

“I was looking for all manner of fathers -- a reluctant father, a faithless father and absentee spiritual father. But it's really interesting that it can be seen that way.”

Foy knows how to have it all ways. It could be a metaphor for the sexual abuse crisis, and at times it is explicitly so, but he's after bigger answers.

“I initially wanted to take the usual cliches of the genre, which usually has a Catholic priest who has all of the answers to a supernatural threat.  My priest is a faithless priest with no answers to a non-supernatural threat.”

The impression that won't leave you is how nightmarish and claustrophobic the world of Citadel is. Foy knows how to create a sense of menace in every frame, and as Tommy Barnard is an edgy bag of nerves looking for a way out.

You'll be gripped from the opening scene by this unusually thoughtful psychological horror film, which is a welcome Irish answer to the exhausted Paranormal Activity franchise.

“So many movies -- not just horror films -- I feel nothing watching, whether it's sadness or humor or terror or catharsis. I think people will feel something watching Citadel,” Foy says.

“They seem to anyway, whether I show it in Europe or the U.S. or South Korea. It freaks people out, but ultimately for me it's a story of hope and redemption.

“So many horrors end on a cynical twist but I wanted there to be salvation at the end. I want people to know this is not stupid horror. It’s got something to say but is an entertaining 85 minutes at the same time!”

Citadel opens in limited release on Friday.

Catch the trailer for Citadel here:

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