The Voyeurs: The optics here aren’t good

Amazon Prime’s new erotic thriller, The Voyeurs, is a ridiculous film. It is a kind of mash-up of Rear Window and Fatal Attraction, but is lacking in both the suspense and character development departments. The story follows a young couple, Pippa (Sydney Sweeney) and Thomas (Justice Smith), who move into a new apartment together and soon find that they can see through the windows everything that happens in the apartment across the street. They watch their neighbors having sex and become increasingly enamored with the lives of this other couple, Seb (Ben Hardy) and Julia (Natasha Liu Bordizzo). Spoilers to follow.

What follows for roughly two-thirds of the film is a boring slog that is lacking in twists, turns, and suspense, and is filled with gratuitous sex scenes that add little to the story. The two main characters are completely passive for most of the film’s runtime, which is why it feels so slow–they simply watch the entire time, as we do, and even when they believe their neighbor is going to commit murder, or has committed suicide, they still passively watch. Then, in the final act of the film, we get several outlandish twists that feel entirely unearned and incongruent with everything that came before it. One of the twists has interesting potential to explore how artists can be willing to do anything to create their art, even if it means compromising their morality, but the film is nearly over by this point and doesn’t seem interested in exploring this idea further. Instead, it morphs into a tale of revenge during the final scenes, but as a viewer and a voyeur, we don’t really sympathize with any of the characters anymore, their fates have become inconsequential.

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