I will be honest I wasn’t planning on writing a review, as I am after a night shift. So what does one do when he is after a 12hour night shift? That’s right, he (or I, in this case) watches something light, something you don’t expect too much from, like The Voyeurs. And holy shit. The moment this movie ended, I knew I was writing something down because I just had to vent. I don’t normally copy and paste the synopsis, as that’s not what my reviews are about, but this is a new film, and I will almost immediately go to spoilers because there is no way to discuss this movie without doing so. This is to give you just a summary of what this film is about.
Pippa and Thomas move into their dream apartment, they notice that their windows look directly into the apartment opposite, this will set in motion a chain of events that will lead to disaster.Synopsis of The Voyeurs, source: IMDb.com
Sounds pretty intriguing, right? Maybe a new spin on Rear Window (1954, my review here), plus if you watched any trailers, it’s promising to be a bit steamy with the gorgeous Sydney Sweeney in the leading role, so what is not to love here, correct? Well, it turns out you can’t just base your film on twists, nudity and more twists. Or at least, you can’t start from that place. And this film is the perfect example of something that feels like the people behind it started with a few twisty ideas on some old norms, but… Do you know how they say too many chefs can spoil the soup? Well, too many twists can kill your movie. Ok, I can’t hold it any longer…
Beware, SPOILERS are coming!
The movie starts promisingly, especially if you have a weakness for Sydney Sweeney (whoever says they don’t is a liar) as she tries her hardest in this film. But even she couldn’t make this work, but I can’t blame her or any other actors involved. Because this whole movie is a glossy mess, masked as a deconstruction of the “voyeur” genre. Aka, what if we take the rug underneath the voyeurs? Yes, the movie tries so hard to distract you with gratuitous nudity to serve you a story that’s trying to be so, so clever. But here’s the thing – the more you think about the story, about all the moving parts of it, the less sense it makes.
So, the big idea is this – Sydney’s character becomes obsessed with watching their new neighbours across the road. Her boyfriend (Justice Smith, whose “voice choice” puzzled the fuck out of me, to be honest) is kind of game at first. They discover the husband (Ben Hardy) cheats on her wife (Natasha Liu Bordizzo) with models, as he’s a famous photographer. Then one night, they manage to sneak a tiny mirror into their flat on Halloween (I didn’t even know whether it was Halloween or just some other party where people are dressed in costumes). Yes, a mirror because Justice Smith is an audio guy who knows how to spy on people using a laser. Yes, because apparently, if you flash the laser into their flat and it bounces back from the mirror, it transports the sound waves…? (I need MythBusters on this, ASAP!!) Anyway, from then on, Sydney and Justice have not only visual but also audio means to spy on their new neighbours. And this is where they discover that they fight a lot because she suspects him of cheating, but he gaslights her quite effectively.
A few days later, the first TWIST. Of course, Natasha comes into Sydney’s work (she’s working for a company that tests people and gives them prescription glasses) for a check-up. And at the end of that check-up, Natasha asks Sydney out because she seems cool…? Yes. That happens. So, what do you do with a stranger you’ve never met before? You go to a new spa with them, so you can sweat in a sauna and then be butt naked with them in the pool later on, duh. This is where she reveals to Sydney how she feels alone etc. Cool. Weird, but ok. She also mentions how she’s so bad with technology where she has got this new Wi-Fi printer (remember this tiny yet convenient detail for later), and she doesn’t even know how to set it up. After this, Sydney feels morally obligated to tell her that her husband is cheating on her. She discusses this first with Justice Smith, who wants her to stop watching the neighbours and let it go (he sounds clever). But of course, she doesn’t. Do you remember the Wi-Fi printer? Yes, the following night… or a few nights after (I have no idea, as the movie is not great with time), Sydney listens again, but this time, she prints a document to a wireless printer. And then, she tries a second one and surprise, that’s Natasha’s printer! (Btw, as an IT guy, it hurts to see somebody, who somehow manages to print using a printer, that’s A) not part of their network, and B) most importantly, it’s solid 40/50 meters away.) So this is how Sydney informs Natasha that her husband is cheating on her. Natasha snaps and tries to kill him just to chicken out and break down. Justice Smith is displeased, Sydney isn’t. God is dead, let us move on.
The next morning, Sydney and Justice talk, where Sydney promises to stop altogether with this shit, but of course, she takes a glimpse and bam, the second TWIST! Natasha killed herself! Now, Justice is like “bitch, I am so out, you are on your own!” and leaves Sydney. A couple of days pass by, and one night, Sydney yet again can’t stop spying on the grieving neighbour (what a psycho). And she spots him going down to a bar. So, what do you think happens next? That’s right, she dresses up and goes to the same bar. He notices her eye-fucking him from 10 metres and sits down, with his “porn is great and there isn’t a difference between a vibrator and penis” speech. Just as a side note – 9/10 people, who at some point in their life talked to a real woman for the first time, don’t recommend starting a conversation like this. The one person is Ben Hardy because if you look like him, you can pretty much do whatever you want, as anybody will want to jump on your dick, no matter what you say. Or you know, do, as they saw you cheat on your wife. Moving along. He invites Sydney to his flat, where he starts taking pictures of her. And yes, you guessed it, they both undress, sex ensues. But wait, at the same time, Justice is back in the flat, takes a sip of juice in the fridge (remember this tiny yet convenient detail for later, #2) and sees Sydney banging him. So we see him crying. A totally normal thing to do. At this point, Satan is also dead, and hell froze over.
Moving on, the morning after, she wakes up, dresses up, and goes back to her flat, where, shazam, the THIRD twist. Justice Smith hanged himself! I think it was at this moment, I knew. I knew this movie was going to be a mess and not the enjoyable kind. So we see his funeral Sydney is super sad. A couple of days go by again, Sydney bumps into her friend. She tells her the entire story. The friend tells her it wasn’t Sydney’s fault (spoiler alert, it was, you lying no good friend). Sydney wishes she could just see Ben’s character one more time, for… reasons…? The friend says to go for it, and this is when she remembers that today, it’s his gallery thing he told her about. So they both go. In here, this is where the movie went from “bat shit crazy” to “the actual fuck is happening here”, as voila, the fourth TWIST! Natasha, Ben’s wife, isn’t dead! And the voyeur(s) became the ones who were watched. As of course, they own the flat Sydney and Justice moved into, and they had cameras set up to take pictures of them, as they were watching them! At this point, I swear I heard Buddha saying: “Peace, I am out. I am usually a patient man, but that’s some bullshit.” So Sydney is the main point of the exhibition. Well, her and her boobs.
Then we see the psycho couple trying to justify it in an interview. Saying how both Sydney and Justice signed a release on the last page of the contract to be photographed while living in the flat, so everything the crazy couple did, was cool. That is when we discover that bim bam bum (I am running out surprise noises here) fifth TWIST – he seems like a decent guy, and it was her, who is the bitch. Do you think that’s all? Nah, we still have some grounds to cover.
Sydney is moving out of her reality TV flat when she notices dead birds underneath the water feeder. Remember how I mentioned that Justice took the sip of juice just before he committed suicide? Well, he poured the rest of it into the water feeder. This is when Sydney realises that dun dun DAAAA, sixth TWIST! He might have not committed suicide at all! So Sydney decides to play her Wi-Fi printer schtick again while sending the psycho couple some spiked wine, as they follow her into her work, where she doesn’t get admission from either of them, that they have in fact killed Justice. But she’s really convinced. At that moment, whatever she put in their wine knocks them out conveniently at her work, so she can… BLIND THEM!
The movie ends with a nice gay couple moving into the ex-reality TV flat, where they comment on neighbours being weird. That is when we discover for sure, they are both blind, and Sydney is watching from the roof. Calmly walking away, while we see her in the binoculars. Yep, this is an actual movie. It got made by Amazon Prime. You can go and watch it for yourself. But I couldn’t recommend you doing that.
The Voyeurs is a film that wants to do something different. And I appreciate the effort. But when you are half asleep (like me, after a 12hour night shift) and the movie wakes you up so much that you can take it apart as the film is happening, even though it shows you naked Sydney Sweeney, something is very wrong. Not only there are way too many twists, but I honestly felt that every major decision the movie made, they went with the craziest, most unexpected thing. As if to say: “Nobody expects the Spanish inquisition! Sorry, I mean nobody will expect this turn!” But maybe, no one would expect it because thinking back to the story you decided to tell, it doesn’t make sense…?
There is also the thing about “the voyeur becoming the one(s), who are watched”. The movie tries to question the morality of this situation. And that’s a great question, which is totally undermined if you think about it. How? Well, let me ask you this. How come the psycho couple had the cameras already set up when they moved in? The movie wants to have its cake and eat it too. It’s trying to have some witty comment on “watching people is bad” as almost to give the psycho couple some leg to stand on, but do they? Because for them to make that point, they (Sydney and Justice) need to act on the urge to watch them, otherwise, they (the psycho couple) are the voyeurs who already set up the cameras and put it into their contract! This movie…
Overall, The Voyeurs, as you might have guessed, didn’t impress me at all. It’s full of hot, young, naked people and Sydney Sweeney on top of it. But it all feels dumb in the first half and batshit crazy to insane in the second half. The movie wants to have a message, but it doesn’t work. It wants to have a complicated, sexy, twisty story that also doesn’t work when you think about it for just two seconds… I can’t even say: “It’s so bad it’s good.” No, it’s not. It’s just a bad nonsensical mess that tries to lure you in with some nudity. But in the age of “the Internets”, you don’t have to watch an almost two-hour-long movie, that doesn’t make sense, to see some (albeit magnificent) boobs.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,