It’s almost like something out of a Creepypasta, a documentary filmmaker who comes across a fetish video of men tickling one an other for sport, learns there is a deeper and more sinister tale behind it. He then risks all to throw down the veil behind a seemingly large web of scandal and dark shadowy figures. Rest assured the unusual and eerie events that occur in Dave Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s “Tickled” are very real and unfold in a bizarre and eerie experience. Much like “Catfish,” this documentary feature explores one facet of a story and completely transforms in to something so much more enigmatic and mysterious.
And even potentially life threatening, once our filmmakers find themselves incapable of turning back from the hole they’ve begun digging in to a darker side of humanity and the internet. “Tickled” follows Dave Farrier as he stumbles upon a seemingly odd fetish video involving young men tickling one another strapped down on to tables. What Dave learns is that there is an actual sport called endurance tickling. Confused and slightly fascinated, Dave makes it a point of contacting the founders of the sport, only to learn that they greet him quite aggressively with homophobic slander and slurs.
Despite the initial correspondence confrontation, Dave continues digging in to the topic of Endurance tickling and falls out of favor with two conductors of the sport. After inviting them to New Zealand for interviews, they greet him with immense anger and aggression prompting a storm of legal threats, potential lawsuits and the promise of his career ending should he pursue the topic further. Shocked at how dark the initial search for a film subject has taken, Dave and Dylan challenge any threats at their professional career and begins to dig ever deeper and more thoroughly.
What’s so compelling about “Tickled” is not the world Dave Farrier uncovers, but the legal threats lobbied against him that most certainly can destroy his career and livelihood if he doesn’t walk on egg shells. The sad fact behind the documentary is the very absolute idea that the law is on the side of the folks that Farrier investigates, no matter how much deception and scandal he unearths. “Tickled” is a fascinating and entertaining documentary that spirals in to a rabbit hole of a shady subculture, online harassment, and the destruction of many lives all of which are met with the clicking of a mouse. There certainly won’t be another documentary like “Tickled” released in 2016.
Now in Theaters in Limited Release.