1 user 9 critic

Surfer: Teen Confronts Fear (2018)

Surfer (original title)
PG | | Drama | 16 February 2018 (USA)
1:06 | Trailer
Surfing since as young as he can remember, at the age of 13, Sage is crippled by fear after suffering a wipeout on a huge wave. The wave slammed him to the bottom and held him pinned there ... See full summary »


Douglas Burke


Douglas Burke



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?

Learn more

More Like This 

Ánima (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Antón Terni
Stars: Pablo Stelardo, Achim Sachs, Max Sachs
Amplify Her (2019)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

By combining ecstatic energy and artistry, Amplify Her follows talented young women in the electronic music scene as they come-of-age amidst the emerging cultural renaissance of the feminine.

Directors: Ian Mackenzie, Nicole Sorochan
Stars: Madeline Fauss, Mya Hardman, Adi Laflamme
Ask for Jane (2018)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A group of determined Midwestern women begin providing safe but illegal abortions in this 1960s period drama based on a true story.

Director: Rachel Carey
Stars: Cody Horn, Alison Wright, Alice Kremelberg
Ever After (2018)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

It has been two years since a zombie virus epidemic infected all but two German cities. Vivi and Eva flee the struggling community in Weimar for the one other safe-haven: Jena.

Director: Carolina Hellsgård
Stars: Marco Albrecht, Trine Dyrholm, Gro Swantje Kohlhof
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The history of the Gay and Lesbian community before the Stonewall riots began the major gay rights movement.

Directors: Greta Schiller, Robert Rosenberg
Stars: Rita Mae Brown, Maua Adele Ajanaku, Red Jordan Arobateau
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A man named Flyn (Il Lim) is on a mission to kill the men who raped his wife Olivia (Leelee Sobieski). He finds himself living a double life as a killer and a husband. He finds an ... See full summary »

Director: Il Lim
Stars: Ron Perlman, Il Lim, Leelee Sobieski
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

BACK TO THE FATHERLAND is a documentary film that tells the story of young people leaving their home country to try their luck somewhere else. A common tale these days if these young women ... See full summary »

Directors: Gil Levanon, Kat Rohrer
Stars: Gil Levanon, Katharina Maschek, Dan Peled
Blind Beast (1969)
Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A blind sculpter and his mother kidnap a young model.

Director: Yasuzô Masumura
Stars: Eiji Funakoshi, Mako Midori, Noriko Sengoku
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.2/10 X  

About a group of friends competing in a national tween music video contest. Enter a world of hilarious adventures, original songs and never before seen dance routines. You will be left believing in the power of childhood dreams.

Director: Stewart Raffill
Stars: Devon Jordan, Ashley Cutrona, Erika Corvette
Comedy | Musical | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Aliens land in the town of "Speelburgh" searching for the source of rock & roll. They find trouble with Dee Dee, Frankie and the pack.

Director: James Fargo
Stars: Pia Zadora, Craig Sheffer, Tom Nolan
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.2/10 X  

A scientist investigating reports of the Second Coming of Christ finds himself battling against a suicidal devil cult.

Director: James Glickenhaus
Stars: Bob Byrd, Mark Buntzman, James Glickenhaus
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A Washington D.C. cop is proud to be one of the few African-Americans on the force. He is not well loved by his peers or by street people. Trouble erupts when he is overlooked for a promotion.

Director: Christopher St. John
Stars: Christopher St. John, Paula Kelly, Florence St. Peter


Cast overview:
Sage Burke Sage Burke ... Surfer (Sage)
Douglas Burke Douglas Burke ... Father of Surfer
Nick Snyder Nick Snyder ... Lifeguard
Gerald James Gerald James ... Captain 'Banks' Bancroft, MD
Analia Lenchantin Analia Lenchantin ... Military Hospital Patient
Marian Tomas Griffin ... Military Hospital Receptionist
Alexander Angelikis ... Sergeant Marks
Chris Rodrick Chris Rodrick ... Naval Security Guard
Coleman Kelly Coleman Kelly ... Naval Security Guard
Mitch Feinstein Mitch Feinstein ... Admiral Fenwick
Turk Bartee Turk Bartee ... Navy SEAL Trainer
Mike Estrada Mike Estrada ... Surfboard Shaper
Simon Hall Simon Hall ... Fisherman on Rocks
E.J. Herbst E.J. Herbst ... Fisherman on Rocks


Surfing since as young as he can remember, at the age of 13, Sage is crippled by fear after suffering a wipeout on a huge wave. The wave slammed him to the bottom and held him pinned there without air until he nearly died. With his whole life still ahead of him yet now paralyzed by fear, Sage no longer surfs the waves. But unable to ignore the mystical and powerful pull of the ocean, he fishes in the surf, and finds more than he bargained for. Written by Official site

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Teen confronts fear



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material including some unsettling images and brief language


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

16 February 2018 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Surfer: Teen Confronts Fear See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Director Douglas Burke also produced, wrote, starred in, and wrote the score for the film. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Room Meets Facing the Giants
29 January 2019 | by thirtyfivestoriesSee all my reviews

We've all met that overzealous dad who is more coach than parent. They use athletics as metaphor to excuse the emotional neglect resulting from vicariously living through their offspring. Their children become surrogates for their own desires; scholarships and sponsorships trump happiness and independence. The "pride" of these groomers always feels self-serving and Douglas Burke is not immune to this phenomena. Quick clarification: Surfer isn't a movie in the traditional sense, rather it's a highlight reel (or mixtape as the kids call it) of Burke's son Sage's progression as a budding surfer. This highlight reel was then inter-spliced with footage that some might mistake as narrative film.

Before treading further into this gorgeous disaster-piece, I must state upfront that I adore this attempt at filmmaking quite nearly as much as I despise it. Don't let the pesky number at the bottom of this page define this hybrid film/promotional reel. The laughter and perplexity that assaults you as the viewer leads to a cerebral whiplash that leaves your head lighter than air. I now know how it feels to chortle to exhaustion, and it rates as a Schedule I drug. Yes, we have a worthy entry into the so-bad-that-it's-good camp of movies, but even then Surfer feels a world apart. Swap the political agenda in Birdemic: Shock and Terror with an equally preachy biblical mysticism; transplant Tommy Wiseau's extraterrestrial method acting into Doug here, and you have all the ingredients to grow a cult following.

Enough qualifications though. We met Sage, a handsome wavy-haired teen, on a boardwalk cutting up squid for bait. He has turned to fishing after a nasty spill on a giant wave which almost cost him his life. This is the Fear so delicately elucidated in the film's subtitle. After a good serving of internal monologue, Sage catches a man on his line, who turns out to be a reincarnation of his deceased father who has been crafted out of a squid and sent from the spirit realm. Stay with me. Sage then sits as his squid dad delivers a shaky sermon on how Fear predates the garden of Eden, how whales cry every time a man fails, and how human blood releases warriors (among other things). Sage listens patiently and lies whenever his spirit daddy asks if he's tracking along.

Throughout the pseudo-biblical lesson, it becomes apparent that pops wants his son to ride the waves again. Sage questions why papa ghost is so fixated on him surfing again, and literally asks "Do you want me to do what you never could do?" This causes a Wiseau freak out from his dad that ends in him barrel rolling back into the sea. Before his departure, Sage's father gives his boy coordinates to a military hospital along with a doctor's name and a needlessly long passcode. I'll let your mind wonder from here, but basically the rest of the film has us loosely following Sage train to face the next big wave and his Fear in the process.

Burke has elicited the Christian sports direct-to-video essence that Facing the Giants spun into a multi-million dollar industry while also marketing his son and select surf equipment manufacturers. I am uncertain to label this as either an achievement or gross misconduct. Whichever it might be, Surfer remains a delight capable of unparalleled torment that is orbited by rupturing laughter. Brilliance shines through some cracks when Burke flexes his poetic voice in two epic recitals; one from a younger dream-version Sage, and another from the poet dad himself. The later rolls off with a beatnik authenticity, begging to be analyzed and decoded. But like Ginsburg or Bukowski before him, Burke's soliloquies are best experienced as a shocking rush of words into one's defenseless face.

A massive one take shot is the greater context for this poetic diversion, and is complete with a multitude of misread lines, although I'm still unsure if the dialogue present bares any resemblance to the script that may or may not have been finished. What results is a product that reeks of freedom. Freedom to improvise, to fail audio syncs, to look into the camera, and to (definitely) film unauthorized extras. Surfer has zero cares in the world, and this attitude pounds you into your seat at moments; at other times it elevates you into the joyride that is a dad making a feature length film to brag about his son's surfing. The continuity errors became my many goofy friends, and the persistent (by persistent I mean over every single second of the run-time) score/one-song soundtrack became the official elevator music for the nine levels of hell. However, this might be the most pleasant descent since "Lisa!" was ringing in my ears.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See one user review »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed