A lark gets quite dark as a fascinating story unfolds in David Farrier and Dylan Reeve’s documentary Tickled (A-). Farrier, an offbeat New Zealand journalist, uncovers an odd strain of “competitive tickling” viral videos inspiring him to plumb the depths of a mystery wormhole that takes him on an unexpected crusade around the globe. With Reeve as his Silent Bob-esque camera companion, the intrepid lead reporter displays finesse and fortitude while chronicling the giddy and gritty. In this case he may be covering the armpit of arch-villains, but there are stunning parallels to terrorist cells and cyberbullying rings that can occur when evil masterminds seduce, recruit and retaliate buoyed by the anonymity of the internet. It’s news of the unusual indeed but as absorbing as any suspense thriller this year.
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