Jennie, I love Peeping Tom way more than Psycho. Unfortunately, Psycho helped Hitch's career and ruined Michael Powell's career (in England). I think that's sort of unfair and unjust. P.T. is one of the great horror films. I never realized the films were released the same year. :o
Even in an age going wild for Psycho, Peeping Tom was too damn perverse and uncomfortable for people to take. But it earns its reputation as a "film maudit" masterpiece, a media theory horror movie that plays games with reality and highlights how the very mechanisms of cinema are co-opted against women. The scariest part is that nowadays, TV crime procedurals do worse things every week, and no one bats an eye.
Powell's movie was ahead of his time, it focuses on and plays with the act of viewing six years before Antonioni's "Blow-Up". Striking is the use of a piano with musical references to the musical practice of silent movies while Tom watches his film excerpts or thinks about his "documentary".
I love Powell's films with Pressburger, but find Peeping Tom to be overrated. People seem keen to try and compare it to Psycho, which was released the same year, but it is not in the same stratosphere as that classic.
Another of those initially panned films that gets rediscovered every few years and re-released with a lot of critical hoopla.
Don't be fooled. This is a really dreadfully bad film, filled with a lot of phony half-baked psychobabble.
For Powell's best, see THE RED SHOES.