Directed by Theo Gee
Starring Chloë Crump, AJ Stevenson and Tori Hope
Short film review by Monica Jowett
Psychological thriller Amber, a short film from director and co-writer Theo Gee, has a smart story. Following the aftermath of a routine robbery, a criminal couple who have broken into a young woman’s home, everything in what should have been a simple job has gone wrong, ending up with a bound and gagged woman kidnapped on her own sofa. The couple responsible argue with one another about what to do next.
Within twenty five minutes this short thriller brings three characters together, Amber (Chloë Crump) who is gagged on the sofa and Alex (Tori Hope) the angered leader and Ciaran (AJ Stevenson). When the arguing between Alex and Ciaran comes to a point where Amber’s gag needs to be removed, the young woman enters into the race of plotting against one another in a desperate attempt for the outcome to be in her favour.
Each character is slowly revealed to have their own motives to get out of the terrible situation they have found themselves in. Once Amber’s gag is off, she carefully undermines the other two, and here Crump shows her strengths in acting over the others, standing out in the small cast. She brings to the table just the right mix of innocent vulnerability and intelligence enough to have both of her captors in the palm of her hand.
The intriguing script based around the idea of Stockholm syndrome from co writers Theo Gee and Ian Bousher provides a solid ground for these actors to work from. For a short film it is an ambitious and brave piece, carefully thought out and developed. The overall result is something the filmmakers should be proud of; however the revelations made in the film do not pack as much of a punch as they were intended to.
A minimalist film, it is impressive that it has been made by an amateur director with little knowledge of filmmaking and on a small budget. The visuals, though not ground-breaking, work well for this short, where everything is confined to one room; the close-up zoom is used well as more is revealed about each character, and is a simple but effective technique.
Though it feels like we come into the story halfway through it’s telling, Amber is a strong psychological thriller with a decent character drama at its core.
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