Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Countdown #7: PEEPING TOM

Based on the title, this sounds like a naughty little nugget indeed, yes?

I'll tell you right now, though, that this is a "classy" horror movie--more of a character study than a titillating tale of the macabre.

According to my Netflix DVD jacket, the director of PEEPING TOM (Michael Powell) also made THE RED SHOES. I haven't seen that movie, but it's a classic, and I suspect that it has the same kind of stylized sets and startlingly colored skies as this flick does. Also, this movie came out the same year as PSYCHO, and coincidentally, it explores the effect that a terrible parent can have on a child. However, in this movie, it's the father who's at fault. I'll leave it to you to find out what he did to make his son into a photographer who gets off on using his camera to record the fright on his victims' faces as he kills them.

What's also interesting is that PEEPING TOM shares the same "type" of hero as we got in Norman Bates--a soft spoken guy who's not necessarily bad looking. He's a bit socially inept, though his attempts at relating to women can be sort of sweet (if you don't know what's going on with him). The guy who plays the Peeper in this flick is almost bug-eyed, but not quite; he's what Peter Lorre might've looked like if he'd been prettier.

If you're looking for a slasher movie, this probably won't do it for you. It's deliberately paced with violence that's more implied than shown. But it's creepy just the same. It's the kind of movie you'd have to watch a few times to fully appreciate, with subtext about our own complicity in crime and sin.

Heavy stuff for Halloween.

I'm in the mood for something much lighter going forward, so I'm returning to a tried-and-true Halloween cheapy that I know will cater to my C-grade Halloween horror movie love: FRIDAY THE 13th, PART 2. Enter Jason!

No comments: