An intriguing character study that was ahead of its time, both in its voyeuristic use of the killer point of view, as well as its articulate and confrontational examination of the male gaze.
Peeping Tom tells the story of Mark, a photographer who loves to record the deaths of women to study their fear responses. The causes of his behaviors are slowly revealed throughout the film as he establishes a meaningful relationship with a tenant in his apartment building.
It flawlessly puts the audience in the drivers seat, as we find ourselves empathizing with a perverse murderer who is impeccably embodied by Karlheinz Böhm. As viewers, we enjoy this intrusive look into his experiences as much as he enjoys peeping into the personal lives and emotions of others. By doing this, it playfully blurs the line between reality and film.
Peeping Tom is more heartbreaking than horrifying, but it definitely earned it’s place as a horror classic.