[[quoteright:358:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/peeping-tom.jpg]]

''Look out! You're being watched!''

Peeping Tom is a 1960 British film by the legendary director Creator/MichaelPowell. The movie can be considered, along with ''Film/{{Psycho}}'', as a precursor of the [[SlasherMovie slasher genre]]. It also triggered a little controversy.

Mark Lewis is a man who tends to court women, usually prostitutes. They usually consider him some kind of a creep with his obsession of bringing his camera with him everywhere and filming their encounters. But they don't realize the kind of deal he has in mind until they're alone and he kills them with his tripod, but not before frightening them with something that makes them cringe with terror.

Turns out he works with a film crew and is a filmmaker aspirant. Some day he engages in conversation with the family downstairs, and befriends their daughter Helen, eventually forming relationship with her. He shares some of his home movies with her, along with his childhood problems created by his father. Turns out he used his son as an experiment in psychological fears [[AbusiveParents putting him in stressful situations and filming everything with his camera]].

The police start suspecting a man who barely talks with other people and has his camera always running (that would be Mark), and eventually they find enough evidence to convict the man. Mark, knowing this, takes cover in his house and when Helen follows him, trying to help him, she finally witnesses what he has been doing. He’s making a documentary, [[InTheBlood like his father before him]], of the fear of death, using a mirror to show the soon-to-be victims their faces full of terror. When the police find him, [[DrivenToSuicide he commits suicide]], giving his documentary an appropriate ending.

The film made such a controversy that it practically destroyed Powell's career. Eventually it was VindicatedByHistory .

A personal favorite of Creator/MartinScorsese. It's also one of the Greatest Films of RogerEbert.

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!!!'''This movie contains examples of:'''
* AbusiveParents: His father is the main reason Mark is the way he is.
* {{Bowdlerise}}: When it was first released, the censors cut shots of the murders, nudity and Mark’s suicide.
* {{Camera Fiend}}: Of course.
* CreatorCameo: Director Powell plays Mark's father.
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: To die watching the reflection of your horrified face seems to be horrible.
* DisposableSexWorker: Mark targets prostitutes for his work.
* DrivenToSuicide: To avoid the police.
* {{Fanservice}}: The nudity in this film, tame for modern standards, shocked the censors in 1960.
** FanserviceExtra: Glamour model Pamela Green's nude scene was one of the first in British cinema.
* ForScience: It seems to be his father's motto.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
-->“He has his father's eyes.”
* FreudianExcuse: Mark is turned into a killer by his father's experiments.
* ImprobableWeaponUser: Who could have thought of using a tripod's leg as a butcher’s knife?
* InTheBlood: Mark takes after his father.
* IntroOnlyPointOfView
* MadScientist: Mark's father.
* MurderDotCom: Can be seen as a precursor of sorts.
* ThePeepingTom: Mark.
* POVCam: Used for the murder scenes, and justified as they are from Mark's camera.
* PsychologicalHorror
* SlasherMovie: Possibly a TropeMaker.
* SnuffFilm: Mark's documentary.
* [[StuffedIntoTheFridge Stuffed Into The Coffin]]: Only because Mark needed to dispose of the body quick.
* TakeThat: The character of the director is supposed to be a parody of mogul John Davis (the director's name is Don Jarvis, making it not too subtle).
* ThereAreNoTherapists: Averted; there is a psychiatrist, but it's more helpful to the police than to Mark.
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: And so do posters. As you can see in the poster above, it indirectly reveals the secret weapon of Mark.
* UrExample: Of the slasher flick.
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Mark, considering his ''massive'' FreudianExcuse.
* YouBastard: You're watching a film about murderous voyeurism-- to get a thrill out of the story that unfolds.
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