CREDIT: Kino Lorber

This review was originally posted on News Cult in January 2018.

Starring: Addison Timlin, Larry Fessenden, Ian Nelson, Jeremy Gardner

Director: Robert Mockler

Running Time: 80 Minutes

Rating: Not Rated, But It Could Be R for Its Disturbing Food-Based and Psychedelic Imagery

Release Date: January 26, 2018 (Limited Theatrically)/February 20, 2018 (On Demand)

Is social media breeding new forms of sociopathy, or is it the other way around insofar as those who are already sociopaths are naturally drawn to social media? Or maybe people just use whatever media they have available to them to deliver their messages, whether sociopathic, benign, or somewhere in between. Robert Mockler’s indie horror (or horror-adjacent, but horrific, nonetheless) Like Me does not provide any straightforward answers to any of these questions, but it is vividly drawn enough for viewers to draw their own conclusions.

A sort of 21st Century Taxi Driver with flashes of A Clockwork Orange, Like Me is primarily the portrait of a loner, burning for an outlet for her twisted proclivities. We never got much of a sense what Kiya’s (Addison Timlin) living or familial situation is, but we learn enough to know that she’s able to handle herself, despite her small, seemingly unimposing physicality. It is perhaps that unpredictability that allows her to pull off her … “schemes,” let’s call them. She harasses a convenience store employee into whimpering submission and then she lures a hotel worker with sexual promises into a force-feeding session that concludes with him vomiting milk (with the latter encounter leading into a bizarre buddy flick), broadcasting the most extreme moments for all her social followers to behold. Kiya definitely takes notice of the online reaction she engenders, but it appears to be the thrill of the moment itself that motivates her most.

If you’re like me, you’ll wonder why anyone could behave as Kiya does. Director Robert Mockler is not particularly interested in answering that conundrum, nor do I really want him to. Instead, he is more committed to crafting a sumptuous feast that overwhelms the senses. Kiya’s world is filled with dimly lit overwhelming colors. Gummy worms, a rotating camera, an ominous score heavily indebted to Goblin but with its own edge of urban dysfunction, and psychedelic light streams combine for a toxic blend of anti-satisfying sustenance. Several reaction videos to Kiya’s escapades are presented in Internet windows, captured in their full crappy webcam glory, clashing with the crisp digital photography of the main action. I can imagine this whole thing is a daydream that Mockler had one day, and it is probably healthy that he has now let it all out on the screen.

Like Me is Recommended If You Like: A Clockwork Orange, Taxi Driver, The Shining, Mixed Media Presentations

Grade: 3 out of 5 Forced Feedings