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'Like Me' peers into dark corners of anti-social media

'Like Me' peers into dark corners of anti-social media
Addison Timlin in the movie "Like Me." (Kino Lorber)

“Like Me” makes a case for describing one corner of the web as anti-social media, in that the need to connect online can send certain souls toward ever-darker impulses. (Logan Paul, pay attention.)

In this woolly, weird portrait of maladjusted loneliness, Addison Timlin plays Kiya, a pixie-ish, peripatetic, thrill-seeking millennial who turns phone-captured encounters with fringe denizens of the night — a convenience store clerk who thinks he’s being held up, a homeless man she plies with food — into squirrelly online content designed to stoke responses from fans and trolls alike.

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Her crime spree takes a turn when she lures a skeevy middle-aged motel owner (indie horror stalwart Larry Fessenden, who also produced) into a costumed sex scenario involving junk food, torture and kidnapping, but that morphs into a perversely emotional connection over their separate statuses as outsiders. Perhaps realizing his setup is intriguing if dramatically thin, writer-director Robert Mockler deploys a healthy skill with Kubrick-torqued visual experimentation — interjected video installations — that keep the tension up and the psychological terrain appealingly destabilized.

Both impish and melancholy, with Timlin and Fessenden handily shifting the molecules in the air each time they share a scene, “Like Me” has an eccentric bravura to it. It’s like an artisanal cocktail of modern-day danger, pain and alienation: whether it wants you to sip or gulp, it finds its way into your head.

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Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Playing: Arena Cinelounge Sunset, Hollywood

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