Amber (2017) short film review

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Infatuated with a member of a successful boy band, a teenage girl takes her obsession to another, darker level in the short film Amber.

There have been some scary true accounts of obsessed fans going to extreme ways to get closer to their idols – Icelandic singer Bjork was sent an acid bomb in the post, John Hinkley trying to kill Ronald Regan to impress Jodi Foster; the list goes on and on.

Now, director Andi Osho has created a short film based around the dangerous obsession that some fans have with their heroes.

Fourteen-year old Amber is a huge fan of the boy band One Summer, and in particular, a member who is called Charlie. She listens to their music religiously, has posters adorning her bedroom walls and she also creates fan fiction – stories based around Charlie and his bandmates. She seems to be living a happy life, even if it isn’t necessarily a healthy one. Then everything crumbles the day that news breaks out regarding Charlie’s departure from the band. Amber (2017) short film review

Amber’s mother is called into the local police station to find her full of bruises and a heavily bandaged wrist, due to her cutting herself. The female police office demands Amber tell her exactly what happened, which we are then shown in a flashback – Amber breaking into Charlie’s home and confronting him over the break-up.

Amber is a stylish short film with some great editing. Starting off with a montage of clips involving popular bands of the last century, including The Beatles and One Direction, the film starts happy and bright before making a 180 degree turn to a darker setting. And it works.

Cat Van Dort does very well playing the titular character; she seems sweet and innocent on the outside but you can also tell that there is something deeply disturbed residing under the surface, waiting to burst out. Will Finlason is also great as Charlie, and looks like a boy band member as well.

Knowing that there are people out there, walking around, like Amber, only makes this short film more terrifying. The idea of being a celebrity is a tantalising one to many people, but that’s before they take into account that they too could have an Amber watching their every move.

4 / 5 stars     

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