Sundance 2016 Review: ‘Tickled’ is a hilarious & shocking documentary unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
Tickled Review: A hilarious and shocking documentary unlike anything you’ve ever seen before.
The documentary Tickled premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival back in January. It generated quite a bit of buzz and was one of the most talked about documentaries at the festival. The film follows journalist David Farrier as he investigates a series of competitive tickling videos which he stumbles upon online. Farrier finds the so-called “sport” strange yet fascinating. As Farrier investigates further, he begins to uncover a seres of websites such as Jane O’Brien Media that seek out men from all across the world to partake in these tickling competitions.
Tickled is unlike anything that I have ever seen before. It’s weird, fascinating and shocking. The idea that something called “competitive endurance tickling” even exists is completely new to me which made watching this 92-minute documentary an eye opening experience. What is so fascinating about Tickled is not only the subject matter but also the investigation and information that Farrier begins to uncover. The film is initially comedic but quickly shifts gears and becomes a crazy and disturbing cautionary tale.
This is one of those rare documentaries that gets more and more interesting as the story unfolds. Farrier talks to various men who have been lured into trying competitive tickling because they needed money. This leads to stories of video blackmail and underage touching of minors. There is a lot more that the film reveals but I don’t want to ruin it. I honestly could help but get drawn into this story. Tickled reminded me of a well made thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and had me guessing what was going to happen next.
The simple fact that all the people featured in this documentary are still at large and are still taking advantage of men of all ages across the world is truly mind-blowing to me. It really makes you think about how many other strange activities are happening in this world that go unnoticed. Competitive tickling should probably be an illegal activity since it has negatively affected hundreds men of all ages yet somehow authorities aren’t even aware that it is happened all around the world. Most of the information that Farrier and Reeve uncover can be easily fact checked to see if its true. I spent hours upon hours looking up things mentioned in the film and was amazed by how easy it was to retrieve information about the people as well as videos featured in the film.
One thing that goes without saying is that David Farrier and Dylan Reeve know how to tell a great story and keep the audience invested with their investigation. I was enthralled the entire time when watching this film. I think most will find the subject matter fascinating because of how well Farrier and Reeve document their journey. You will be laughing out loud at one moment and gasping the next. Over the years, I have watched a lot of documentaries and very few have ever left me wanting to revisit them immediately after viewing. Tickled is a rare exception because I can see myself watching it over and over again simply to pick up on new things that I might have missed the first time around.
Needless to say, Tickled is one of the best documentaries of the year. It also happens to be the scariest film of 2016. Farrier and Reeve’s journey into this world of competitive endurance tickling creates a unique and memorable experience. It serves as a great conversation starter that will definitely get people thinking. It is a weird and fascinating tale about an odd fetish that should be investigated even further. Even if you aren’t normally a fan of documentaries, I highly recommend you check out Tickled because it is hands down one of the most interesting and thought-provoking films that I have seen this year.
Scott “Movie Man” Menzel’s final rating for Tickled is a 9 out of 10.