The documentary about competitive endurance tickling is about so much more…
HEATH’S THOUGHTS: Did I laugh while watching Tickled? Absolutely! I laughed at the audaciousness of competitive tickling, the awkwardness of what we were seeing, and then nervously at what began to unravel… While I laughed throughout Tickled (there’s some great slo-mo facial reactions from a tickling fetishist of pure glee in the act that are countered with the same slo-mo reactions from our documentary filmmaker David Farrier in utter bewilderment at what he is witnessing), it’s not a comedy. This is a mystery horror/thriller above all else. Tickled is one of the most compelling and horrifying documentaries I’ve seen with a core mystery that is wonderfully paid off by the films end. It was thrilling to watch with a packed movie house alongside some of the IPC staff. Definitely seek this one out and don’t you dare tickle me.
JANIE’S THOUGHTS: “This can’t be a real thing.” That’s what I first thought when I saw Tickled. I hate being tickled with a passion of a thousand flaming suns. I’ve lost boyfriends over it… you know the ones who think it’s funny to pin you down and tickle you? Nope. Dumped. But this – this takes things to another level, and the worst part is, I kept thinking, “I would have done this.” Let me explain myself a bit. These tickling rings took pleasure in targeting inner-city teens and college students facing genuine financial strife. My mom was ill for a long time. I may not be “inner city”, but there were times when I had to forfeit paying the rent or electricity to make sure she would be able to see a doctor. During those times of hardship, if someone had offered me $1,000 upfront, then another $2,000 afterward, to be tickled with my clothes on, I would have said yes. Obviously not for me (flaming suns, dumped boyfriends), but for my mother. Yes, I would have. When you’re that age, and in that condition, $3,000 is a lot of money. That is what I find so terrifying about Tickled. A New Zealand blog journalist happens across a funny, bizarre video and thinks the same thing: “This can’t be a real thing.” As a fellow journalist, I’d have done what he did. Make inquiries, seek out interviews, etc. What he unveiled is so utterly disturbing, it left me with my mouth agape the duration of the film. Being able to put myself in the subjects’ shoes as well as the filmmaker’s shoes gave me an incredibly unique perspective. I’m certain that I am not alone in this position. This documentary is riveting. It opens your eyes to the lengths some twisted individuals will go to exploit those in need for personal gain.
KYLE’S THOUGHTS: It’s hard to know what you are getting into when you sit down for a documentary called Tickled. I assumed it would be a homo-erotic romp through a subsect of BDSM involving tickling, but what I got was so much more (besides possible employment options if I ever become that in need). Tickled played like a suspense thriller for me, with a constant nagging in the back of my mind of “how is this possible” and “isn’t that illegal?” until it all comes crashing down in a cacophonous third act with a real life ‘Keyser Söze’ moment. This is not as joyful as its name would imply, this is a true horror movie and it’s all non-fiction. If you enjoy/explore documentaries that tend to show dark shades of life (Citizen Four, Kids for Cash, The Bridge), you should add this to your viewing list. Your sick, sad viewing list…
AMY’S THOUGHTS: I really can’t handle tickling. As a very ticklish person (who values her personal space), I was always an easy target for others to get a laugh. It goes from being funny, to being miserable, to crying and then we enter BEAST-MODE. Tickling is not fun. Not for me. So you can imagine my apprehension at seeing a film about competitive endurance tickling. It completely made my skin scrawl and that was even before getting to the real story underneath this documentary.
How can you volunteer to be tickled? Why (and how?) is there a tickling fetish? Who does this? So many questions that are still unanswered for me. So many of the participants regret their involvement; which is sad for something that should be (seemingly) innocent to cause such severe damage on these individuals’ lives. Tickling gone wrong.
His love of most things in entertainment can be summed up by having an English Bulldog named Spielberg and consistently asking if it’s Halloween yet.