Peeping Tom

A serial killer films women he seduces before murdering them.
Psychological Thriller

 

United Kingdom
1960
Feature Film
Realism: 
Plausible
Character Focus: 
Serial Killer Film
Stalker: 
Sneaker
Trespasser
5.04
Won't remain unseen!
3.04
5.04
6
5.04
2
2
2
Performances
Pace
Photography
The film’s subject is controversial, even by today’s standards, and audiences, then, weren’t quite ready for it. Fast forward a few years and we end up with a cult film. Psycho was released the same year, so 1960 was a rough time for the squeamish. In Peeping Tom, we pretty much see this story from the eye of a serial killer who’s grown attached to his portable film camera.
What we have, here, is an ancestor of the slasher subgenre. The most shocking aspect of Peeping Tom is that it doesn’t draw the line between seduction and lure and, implicitly, between sex and rape. The killer doesn’t look at all like a killer, which makes him all the more dangerous. In fact, this really doesn’t feel like a horror movie. It’s an outrageous thriller that breaks a few barriers.
This is a slow film with a beginning and end, and dialogue in between. The actors are talented but overplaying. Sometimes, they don’t seem to know what movie they’re in. There’s even a dance scene thrown in for good measure. The idea of a camera being used as a weapon is eccentric, but it’s a trademark. “Peeping tom” is synonym of “voyeur”, which is, ironically, what this film makes us all.
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