Peepers is a delightful film that many will enjoy but it will be difficult to get many to see it. This is entirely because of its subject matter so when I give a brief summary, you just have to trust me. It is about a community of peeping toms who band together on a nightly basis to observe and record acts of nudity and sexual acts.
Are you still with me?
All it takes is one scene in order to believe there are groups—basically a union—of “peepers.” Seeing them on rooftops with their walkie-talkies isn’t creepy because writer/director Seth W. Owen brilliantly handles the tone as endearing not alarming. This is the ragtag team of misfits, but instead of Dungeons and Dragons they’re more of people watchers.
The team is threatened when a college professor (Janine Theriault) picks up on this peepers phenomenon and starts interacting with one of the groups to understand them further. The unofficial leader of the group, Steve (Joe Cobden) becomes threatened by this newcomer especially because he is on a cold streak.
What follows is the typical sort of plot of a group conflict, but Peepers continues to charm because its world is so fresh. All of their phrasing and actions make their world seem very thought-out. They even have a Code they abide by, but like every great Code various character test different parts of it.
Despite its odd premise, this still takes place in the real world. This team of underdogs are definitely misunderstood by others and it is the strength of the film that allows you to root for them. They are not the typical Hollywood nerds; they have more nuances and layers than that. Through this movie they are all tested with new relationships that challenge how they interact with others. This works as a new revelation to them considering they are typically the unseen party. (Except, of course, when they aren’t unseen and the cops are called.)
This is the ideal type of film festival entry because its subject matter will make it a bigger hit with niches rather than opening in 4,000 screens. Also it allows us to find exciting new filmmakers like Owen. I am very interested to see what he does next.
Peepers will play on Tuesday July 20th at 6:30PM and once more on Friday July 23rd at 3PM. You can buy tickets online here.