Wednesday 12 June 2024

Prime Time: The Voyeurs (2021)

We seem to be moving more and more towards disappointingly tame and sexless entertainment nowadays. Let's face it, there's no room for a new Shannon Tweed to come on the scene and make her mark, and the heyday of the raunchy erotic thrillers continues to get smaller and smaller in our rear-view mirrors. Some people still try to spice things up though, and congratulations are due to writer-director Michael Mohan for giving us some entertaining sexy shenanigans presented with a pleasing lack of haughtiness.

Sydney Sweeney and Justice Smith are Pippa and Thomas, respectively. They are young and in love, and making their new life together in their new home. There’s a surprising special feature of their new home though, which is a front row seat to the lusty couple who live over the street from them. One is a photographer (Seb, played by Ben Hardy). His partner (Julia, played by Natasha Liu Bordizzo) seems very supportive, but is perhaps unaware of how many people he is having sex with behind her back. Pippa and Thomas become more and more engrossed in the unfolding drama, even figuring out a way to eavesdrop of various conversations, and it soon becomes clear that the situation is quite unhealthy. But will it ruin the relationship between them?

I am not going to spend time trying to convince people that this is great. There are some already determined to avoid it simply because of it being an erotic thriller. Thankfully, it’s a very good erotic thriller, and a decent way to spend just under two hours of your time (which is still a bit too long, but the pacing helps it feel like a shorter movie). It doesn’t rank alongside the greats of the sub-genre, and there’s still a reticence to really wallow in the flesh in a way akin to movies from decades ago, but it does a decent job of delivering decent characters, some fun twists, a handful of scenes featuring some nudity, and just enough details to make the ridiculousness of the third act feel grounded in some kind of reality. Mohan knows what he is doing, and he is helped by the central cast.

Both Hardy and Bordizzo are cool and beautiful people, and they both emanate an aura that you can understand would make them intriguing to spy on. Smith and Sweeney, on the other hand, do a good job of being quite a normal couple who find themselves exploring brand new territory together. Sweeney also ends up baring a bit more than her onscreen partner, which she does while keeping her character appropriately wavering between being nervous and being thrilled. There are one or two other cast members, but the focus remains on the central quartet, and everyone treats the material with an enjoyable earnestness that works in its favour.

I have heard other people praise this, which means I am certainly not in a group all on my own again, and the recent ascension of Sydney Sweeney will no doubt have more people finding out about it, but I am happy that I can, for what it’s worth, add my own endorsement. The fact that I could see where things were going once the final scenes began to play out just added to the fun of the batty conclusion, and I hope others enjoy it as much as I did.


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1 comment:

  1. I really should have watched that when I still had Prime Video.