4.5 stars. A film I adored in my late teens, but I know feel a little squeamish about returning to, preferring the subtler perversions of Powell's earlier work with Pressburger. However, it cannot be denied this is a searing self-examination of the obsessive cinephile and his voyeuristic drive to film. Remarkable this was released in 1960, it easily feels a decade ahead of its time. The leads are both heartbreaking.
This psycho-sexual Freudian proto-slasher is just as rich in its character analysis as 1960's Psycho and has just as much a social commentary as Lang's M. Oddly, I have read very little that mentions, let alone analyses, lead actor's Boehm's natural German accent. It adds an immigrant-journey parallel to the story and a connect to the German Expressionism movement. Its storyline hiccups as it progresses, though.
Should have been shot in black & white. There’s something sleep-inducing, lifeless, and bleak about those colours. The soundtrack is unfortunately not very good, bordering on annoying. The camera work is where the film’s strength lies. Too much censoring. Overall some great scenes, a good share of creativity, a straightforward plot and honestly a little boring.
Progredendo a ritroso, eliminando le forme della paura fino alla paura stessa: il corpo che vede e il corpo che è visto sono lo stesso. Ma tutto è contaminato da uno psicologismo strutturale, a cui in fondo è riducibile la scoperta della paura. Powell, di fronte alla paura, ha posto la domanda sbagliata: da dove, la paura? Avrebbe dovuto rinunciare all'interrogazione e lasciare vedere. (Radicalismo.)
Based on complex and un-complicated characters and set in between the realms of photography and cinema, Powell's work broke the cinematography practices upheld until that moment - with a major use of P.O.V. framing (including overlaying viewfinder frames) - while holding on cine-theatrical lights and acting. Shot and displayed in the same year that "Psycho" came out, gave another take on distorted minds in cinema.
Peeping Tom teases smuttiness or trashiness, but it ends up being extremely elegant. The later grisly scenes are accomplished with minimal gore, necessitated by the sensibility of the time. Funnily enough, it was still too much for the 1960 audiences, who found it horrifying. You can't please everyone.
One of the first and finest modern thrillers where we follow a serial killer's killing spree. It is dark, terrifying and disturbing. It's stage-like feel help the movie and distances us from the creepiness and still it feels very believable. Sadly, the movie killed Michael Powell's career.
Psycho is the natural comparison, but I kept thinking of Hitchcock's later film Frenzy (which I don't like). PT is ahead of its time yet maddeningly dated. Powell might not have directed Boehm to channel Peter Lorre, but I wish he'd have put a stop to it. Awful film score. No arguing with Powell's camera work though, which implicates us all as voyeurs. Art and exploitation are deliciously savage bedfellows. 3.5 stars