Film Review: Tickled

tickled (1)Tickled starts off with the quirky conceit that New Zealand journalist David Farrier has stumbled onto information about a “Competitive Endurance Tickling” organization and would like to interview the organizers for an article. Now that seems like a perfectly reasonable request, but the response David receives is not what was expected. Rather than an interview he receives a series of hateful messages attacking him and his sexuality. These messages set David Farrier and his friend Dylan Reeve on a course to discover the back-story and reasoning of those involved and leads them into one of the most twisting convoluted and shady mysteries since the noir heyday … but this is all real.

To be blunt, Tickled is a fascinating look at the anonymity of the Internet and absolute terror one can inflict upon another using it. What starts as a potentially fun and goofy documentary about tickling turns into a dark cautionary tale involving blackmail, identity theft, harassing threats and an intercontinental quest to decipher the identity of the person or persons behind it all. This description may come off as a bit cheesy, but while watching the documentary all I could think of was how Tickled really seems like Catfish pushed to a near unbelievable limit.

On a technical level there is little that I can praise or criticize about Tickled, but its story and its participants combine to deliver the most gripping documentary I’ve seen in a very long time. I really highly recommend that you make time to see Tickled, as I’m certain that this will be the most talked about documentary of the summer.

Tickled opens Friday July 1 at the Cable Car Cinema.

Tickled (2016); Dir: David Farrier and Dylan Reeve; Starring: David Farrier, Dylan Reeve, David Starr

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