Voyeurism has been explored many times in film and TV, with most notable examples including Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window and creepy Netflix series You. In this Amazon original film, we follow young couple Pippa (Sydney Sweeney) and boyfriend Thomas (Justice Smith) who soon become obsessed with a couple who live across the street after witnessing them having sex.
It turns out this couple are photographer Seb (Ben Hardy) and model Julia (Natasha Liu Bordizzo), a pairing that almost seems too good to be true. They’re both creative types in a Montreal apartment and seem to have it all, but it’s inevitable that’s not going to be the case. And as Pippa’s obsession with the couple grows, we start to learn more about them including their real names (before learning this, Pippa and Thomas christened them Bryan and Margot.
The Voyeurs is incredibly far-fetched in many ways, the first being the comically luxurious apartment the couple live in despite being so young, but it’s also hard to fully understand exactly why Pippa in particular would become so invested in this couple across the street. Watching other people seems to spice up their own sex life, sure, but it seems to turn from harmless fun to dangerous obsession rather quickly. Much like You, it’s also a bit baffling how no one seems to own blinds or curtains in these sort of thrillers, but each to their own.
But if you’re able to look past some of the implausibilities, you might still have a good time with this erotic thriller. Rather predictably, we learn that Seb’s been seducing many of his female models which places him into stereotypical “shady photographer” territory and shattering the illusion that Seb and Julia had some sort of perfect relationship. This prompts Pippa to take matters into her own hands and dive even deeper into their personal lives, a rabbit hole she may not be able to fully emerge from.
If you like twists and turns, this film is full of them and soon all four characters become entwined in a web of lies, seduction, and mystery. Eventually, they meet, after Julia has an appointment at the opticians where Pippa works, and it all goes dramatically downhill from there. Decisions are made that feel so horrendously out of character, but perhaps this could be viewed as a descent into madness and departure from the normal. The final scene in particular is very shocking, yet deliciously ironic, and it’s the kind of ending that will definitely be divisive among viewers due to how jarring it actually is.
In terms of the technical bits, The Voyeurs is certainly pretty to look at and there’s a lot of glamorous set design and good camerawork, and the sex scenes are exactly what you’d expect from a self-proclaimed erotic thriller. (ie: explicit!) This film definitely doesn’t do anything groundbreaking, and it’s not a particularly highbrow storyline, but it’s entertaining and keeps you guessing which is perhaps all you really need when it comes to a film like this.
Overall The Voyeurs is an average thriller, and will no doubt divide fans of the genre. It’s best to lower your expectations with this one and just go in hoping to have fun with it, allowing yourself to get lost in the drama and the inevitable betrayals that occur throughout the film. It does raise some interesting questions about privacy, technology, and of course, sex, but ultimately it’s quite a forgettable film and will soon be replaced by another one just like it for those who simply can’t get enough of this style of film.
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