Waynesville Mail

Man Vs. Nature

Facing Monsters


Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 30m
Director(s): Bentley Dean
Where To Watch: Premiering digitally and VOD November 15, 2022, from Garage Entertainment, in partnership with Level 33 Entertainment and Surfline

RAVING REVIEW: Can humans tackle one of nature's most extreme events? I’ve seen plenty of surfing movies and documentaries, even quite a few nature films about the ocean. However, I’ve never seen anything like this.

This documentary was a struggle against will and want—the desire to push oneself to the extremes while simultaneously surviving. Comparisons to FREE SOLO were well deserved; if you’ve seen that film, you’ll know that it shows humans pushing themselves to extremes. This story is no different, and once you realize what the ‘slab wave’ is, you’ll never look at a normal wave the same again.

Kerby Brown is a surfer who decided to take on a life-changing event that could jeopardize his life, family, and more. In Brown’s world, this is more than just surfing the next big wave; this is conquering what has never been done before. 

Directed by Bentley Dean, an Academy Award nominee, you can feel the passion of this film. You often feel like you’re in the water with Brown, watching for the next sign of the wave, waiting for that deafening noise coming to you.

While Brown’s bravery against nature is core to this film, I think the “monster” itself is almost as important. As mentioned above, I hadn’t seen anything like this before; I would almost call it an abomination of nature—the perfect mix of conditions that put the waves in THE PERFECT STORM to shame. How a man can tackle this giant and come out alive on the other side is still beyond me.

I would love to see this nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary; more people need to see this incredible film. While the “waves” were amazing watching it at home, I can’t imagine seeing them towering 20 feet tall in front of me. I would love to see it on the big screen.

#FacingMonsters @facingmonstersfilm @kerby_brown @rickrifici @garagefilms @level33_ent @surfline @volcolm

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