Uhhhh – Tickled (2016)

This can’t be real, right?  So if you go exploring some of the darker corners of the internet, you may be able to find fetish videos that showcase men being tied up and tickled.  This is about a New Zealand journalist who stumbled upon this and thought it was funny to the point of doing research.  He starts to pull on the string of the sweater on who is orchestrating this, only to find something way bigger than he could have ever imagined.  My wife and I just happened to stumble upon this on a lazy Saturday on the couch.  The name caught our attention, we watched a trailer, and were so intrigued that we decided to drop the money to see this.  It did not disappoint, and this is a documentary that takes you to weird and unexpected places, all without ever playing out how you would imagine it would in your brain.

2It’s as much of a roller coaster ride for the audience as it was for the filmmakers putting this together.

When you sit down to watch a documentary, you can typically map out where it’s going.  On the whole, they serve more as in depth studies for individuals looking to further their education on a subject matter, but seldom do they actually become thrilling in the way that a Hollywood story typically plays out.  Tickled is the exception to the rule.  Just from the subject matter alone, you can tell that this is going to a really weird place; the art of tickling as this sexual fetish really just comes off as the gateway drug for people who aren’t fully ready to commit and immerse themselves in the world of S&M, so you expect people of a certain type of demeanor to be featured in this movie.  They are here to be sure, but there is also cyber bullying to incomparable levels and mob tactics; there is such a cringe-inducing coat of slime that is slickly oiled over this entire world, it just makes for a story that you can’t look away from.

1Based on the treatment of their participants who just want their videos removed from the internet, I’m actually somewhat nervous just posting a humble review of the documentary.

The reason why Tickled succeeds on so many different levels is because of how fascinating it is as well as how you never at any point know how this story is going to conclude.  There is a thrill to be had in the following of leads on this bizarre paper trail, and there is some very warped psychosis at the very end.  I’ve quite honestly never seen a documentary quite like this, and I don’t want to even spoil anything to this, which is something that I don’t think I’ve ever said about a documentary, simply because they are based on fact.  I highly recommend you check this out, even though it’s going to look odd when it pops up on any potential billing statement.

Tickled (2016) ****

– Critic for Hire

Want to see where this fell in my list of best films of the 2016?  See for yourself here.


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