We here at Portable believe that watching films is one of the few great pleasures in life. There is nothing quite like sitting back in a dark theater and getting caught up in other people’s lives and seeing things that ordinarily you would not be privy to. When you think about it, it is actually quite creepy; sitting in the dark, watching. The only difference between film-goers and peeping toms is the nature of their voyeurism—the former being merely 2-dimensional and enjoyed in the company of others, while the latter involves a rather more sinister bent.

A handful of truly canny filmmakers are able to take the pleasure of voyeurism and turn it back in on itself by showing us as we are; people who like to watch. The beauty of showing voyeurs on the screen is that the audience is immediately able to relate to them. This allows filmmakers to play on our irrational fears that the monsters we see on screen will come to life and inhabit us.

Here is a list of the best on-screen voyeurs from the depths of cinema history. Pull out your binoculars and keep watch.