From seemingly innocuous, even ridiculous, beginnings, Tickled builds gradually towards a sustained, unbearable tension. Formally straightforward, it traces a relentless trajectory, finally terminating outside the film itself, soon after the premiere of its follow-up short, The Tickle King, in a tragedy that must have spooked the filmmakers badly, bleakly punctuating their excavation of desire, cruelty and shame.
Farrier comes across as the New Zealand Louis Theroux in this nuts and bolts, follow-the-story type film about a sinister character who has created a world for himself through manipulation and litigation. The film only really came fully to life when the personal details of the character emerged - and then the credits rolled. Still, it's a decent watch.
Although straightforward and bland in style, this doc falls squarely in the WTF? category. The tickling fetish is a bit weird, but ok, not passing judgment on a harmless fetish, however when it starts to involve threats, intimidation and harassment of participants lured into it by financial need, then it becomes apparent that this isn't about a tickling fetish. It's about how the rich and powerful abuse their power.
A film which brings you in under certain auspices and then completely flips your expectations. It leaves you feeling wildly upset about the world by the end, knowing that certain abusive things go on and that there seems to be little to be done to stop them.
A bizzarre rabbit hole of a documentary that gets weirder and stranger, and scarier the more it progresses. The story actually continued way after the end credits - as you can see in the HBO special The Tickle King - a must watch. Tickled is a really unbelievable movie about a bizarre subject that will keep you on edge from beginning to end. It's hard to make heads or tails but it's a ride that you won't forget.
Tickling ain't so funny. The film itself lacked a resolution in many ways, but the recent release of "The Tickle King," brings it in stripes both thematically and narratively - to the point that it should be forever added to the original. Sad to see such repression contort an individual into a monster. If the filmmaking did anything to contort me, it was in soliciting empathy for a psychopath and bully.