Carry The Darkness

New York City, New York | Film Feature

Mystery, Thriller

Douglas Forrester

2 Campaigns | New York, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $9,825 for production phase 2. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

29 supporters | followers

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Inspired by the case of the West Memphis Three from the early 90s and works from that period such as Twin Peaks and The X-Files, this film tells the timely story of a community fraught with dogmatic echo chambers that forces misunderstood teenagers to grapple with the labels placed upon them.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

It’s important for a film to have timely and timeless themes. This film demonstrates a world fraught with disunity and dogmatic echo chambers casting a shadow over younger generations, and how those same generations can remind us that we’re all much more than the struggles that attempt to define us.

The Story

In 1993, metalhead teens are caught up in the satanic panic and blamed for the atrocities of a mysterious entity in the woods.





Ostensibly, the story is about an investigation into a mysterious entity that corrupts the youth of a middle-American small town. But deep down, the true premise is about self-actualizationin the face of alienation.

Travis, the protagonist, is a misunderstood loner and juvenile delinquent that is ultimately sought as the primary suspect for the crimes committed by the entity. Isolated and on the run, will Travis become what society has labeled him as? Or will he be able to absolve himself and maintain his individuality?

On the societal level, Travis has fallen victim to the always relevant human nature of fearing those that are different. In his fictional hometown, a bible thumping community steeped in the Satanic panic of the early 1990s, everyone is inherently blind to the true evil lying in their midst. Save for a few friends and a newcomer detective, the police readily jump to conclusions to blame a teenager that epitomizes that moral panic.


-A coming-of-age narrative in the packaging of a mystery-thriller film.

-A future-proof story touching on the common feeling of being an outsider, and how labeling can morph into the targeting of individuals and communities.

-Captures the spirit of the early 90s with the all too real fears towards the occult, drug use, and youth culture, underlined by hindsight and the general absurdity of the Satanic panic. That moral panic has unfortunately regained relevance through the QAnon movement, which is based in stoking many of those same fears.

-There has never been a better time to capitalize on early 90s nostalgia that looks back on the last gasp of the pre-internet era. Films like I, Tonya and Mid-90s, as well as series like Pam & Tommy and Derry Girls have successfully taken advantage of the zeitgeist but have not entered the realm of the mystery/thriller.





The poster boy for the D.A.R.E. movement, Travis is the definition of early 90s rebelliousness - a defiant juvenile delinquent and metalhead that has been labeled a Satanist and thus is an easy suspect for any mishaps in his rural community. Travis wants nothing more than to escape in his mother's 1991 Chevrolet S10 Blazer, fleeing from anything that represents service to authority.




One of the few black students in school, Jordan and Travis each connected as outcasts in their own right. They love to listen to metal, play video games, and smoke weed together, but Jordan is anxious and not nearly as daring as Travis, although he tends to follow along with his shenanigans.




The new girl in town, Stacey is a skeptical thrill seeker that is looking to escape her abusive home life. She immediately sparks Travis’ interest when they’re paired up in photography class and has enough counterculture energy, and heavy metal knowledge to put him to shame.

All photos above by Stephanie McLaughlin @stephaniemclaughlinphoto on Instagram.





The recently promoted and skilled detective becomes a thorn in the side of her male colleagues and superiors who are determined to lay the blame on Travis.  Jillian is dedicated to the truth, no matter how strange it may be.



Twin Peaks, The X-Files, Unsolved Mysteries, HBO’s Paradise Lost, Tales From The Crypt, The Blair Witch Project, The Fugitive, Locke & Key, Goosebumps, House of Leaves



We are roughly 65% of the way through principal photography having wrapped the Maryland leg of our production as well as our first block of New York production. We will continue shooting in New York until we run out of money - a moment that is fast approaching as each production day costs about three times as much as it did before we had to rent every piece of equipment. Without raising more funds, we will not be able to finish the remainder of principal photography. We need YOUR help! Please consider joining us by making a contribution.

P.S. The 1991 Chevrolet S10 Blazer used in the film is wrapped!


We will continue to follow SAG-AFTRA regulated COVID-19 testing and masking protocols.


Follow us @carrythedarkness on Instagram and Facebook for exclusive updates.

The only way we will reach our crowdfunding goal is if we reach beyond our networks. If you can't pledge funds, please share! If you can do both, great! Check out our wishlist as well to see if you can contribute services or goods that will allow us to free up more of our budget for things like paying our cast/crew!

Please share our campaign via your social media, email, word-of-mouth, however you want!  We can't do this without you!

Here is an example. Feel free to copy and paste!

Help filmmaker @forrester_films by supporting their 90s set mystery/thriller film @carrythedarkness about metalhead teenagers from that era reckoning with the satanic panic. Join them on @seedandspark


Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Other equipment (G&E, sound, etc)

Costs $4,000

We must rent all of the equipment from here on out.

Cash Pledge

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Equipment insurance

Costs $1,000

We can't rent equipment without insuring it!

RED Camera rental

Costs $3,500

We have shot our film thus far with a RED cinema camera.

Canon cine lens package rental

Costs $3,500

These affordable, reliable and fast lenses have been by our side throughout the production.

About This Team

Douglas Forrester - Writer/Producer/Director - A Brooklyn-based filmmaker from Maryland, CARRY THE DARKNESS will serve as his thesis project for an MFA in Filmmaking from Stony Brook Southampton + Killer Films. His second short film BEACH BOY is currently making the rounds at a growing number of independent film festivals in New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Myers Beach. His journey to filmmaking has been winding, but he's found himself endlessly in awe of the power of films to captivate, compel, and enrich audiences as well as the lives of each and every voice that helps bring them to life.

James Sharpe - Producer - Following a stint in the Navy (in Japan), he studied Theatre at Boston University's School for the Arts, and eventually graduated with a double major in Philosophy and Theatre from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Mr. Sharpe's diverse background includes managing multi-million dollar ad budgets and developing commercials for leading global communications technology companies. His short films have played at festivals in Chicago, San Jose, Beverly Hills, and Memphis, and internationally in Wales, Belarus, and India. He also holds an MFA in Producing and Directing from Stony Brook Southampton + Killer Films.

Shanaz Sanjana - Producer/1st AD - An American writer, producer, and actor based in New York. She graduated with a BA in Film & Media Arts from American University in 2020, and minor in Business & Entertainment. She lately specializes in remote filmmaking from development to post-production, and works as a Media Ops Analyst with AMC Networks where she manages the incoming deliveries for their targeted SVOD services. Alongside Break The Room Media and LDNO, Shanaz produced and attended virtual sets for both BECOMING AMERICA, and THE MYTH OF CONTROL, two short-form series where she led teams across timezones. Our select episodes for both titles continue circulating festivals (New Orleans Film Festival 2021, NewFest 2021, Outfest 2021, CAAM Fest 2021, Cleveland International Film Festival 2022).

David J Schultz - Director of Photography - A Brooklyn-based Swiss Army knife filmmaker, David has worked for the last several years across multiple departments in the East Coast’s independent film scene. His last two short films, POOR ARTHUR and FISH, are stylistic dark comedies imbued with the logic and atmosphere of nightmares. His screenplays OLD SILVER and LONELY STAR were recognized by multiple festivals and competitions in 2019 and 2020 respectively. He is currently finishing post-production on his debut feature, THE GIRL IN THE STRAW HAT, a micro-budget tragicomic break-up movie about monomania, manipulation, and past-life cults. If he isn’t cooking up bizarre projects, you will most likely either find him staring at a small screen editing commercials for national brands or, preferably, at a larger screen in one of NYC’s many repertory movie theaters. 

Brenna Morlock - DIT/Editor - Brenna is a Brooklyn, NY based film and video editor. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcasting and Digital Media Productions with a focus on narrative film and editing. With nearly 9 years of experience working in the niche crosshairs of photo and video both on set and in post-production editing for fashion and beauty brands, she has worked with clients such as Coach, DKNY, Izod, Nike, Rag & Bone, and Speedo among others. Between editing social campaign videos, operating as a DIT and color grading on set or making an edit that plays as a triptych tv store display, Brenna has been able to explore different styles of editing and adapt to any situation thrown her way.

Callie Jean Lewis - Co-Producer/Talent - Callie Jean Lewis is an Asian American actress and producer. She most recently co-stars in “The Question” in which her character explores what it’s like to be bi-racial and date in NYC. You may also see her in commercials online and on TV. She crowdfunded to self-produce “The Question” and is passionate about helping stories and dreams play out on screens of any size. She is represented by Arcos Management. 

Trevor Roberts - Co-Producer - An actor, comedian, and filmmaker from Maryland. In 2015 he co-founded a video production group named Falling Squares. He has a degree in Theatre and Marketing from American University.

Joel Meyers - Travis Baldwin - Joel is a New York-based actor most recently seen Off-Broadway in Bard Overboard and featured in the Adult Swim series Three Busy Debras (prod. Amy Poehler). In addition to Carry the Darkness, he can also be seen starring in the upcoming independent feature film A Long Night, as well as the upcoming shorts Faust’s Fa ade and Dying to Escape. Joel graduated from Columbia University in May of 2021 with Bachelor’s degrees in Theatre and Astrophysics. Notable campus credits include: Stupid F*cking Bird, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Godspell, and the 124th Annual Varsity Show. Off the stage and screen, Joel is a co-owner and founder of Hyperspace Tutors, a private tutoring company he started with a friend from Columbia that serves students K-12 and undergrad in all areas of math, science, writing, test prep, and general academic support. For fun, Joel enjoys playing the piano, hitting the soccer pitch, and dreaming up screenplays he hopes to one day produce.

Jaden Gant - Jordan Conrad - Jaden first discovered his passion for acting in high school theatre, where he was cast in “The Addams Family”, “Cheaper By The Dozen”, and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying”, and participated in the school’s improv club. Eager for a deeper understanding of the craft, he trained at the Theatrelab in Washington, D.C where he was introduced to a wider variety of playwrights. Jaden now works as an extra in local projects around Maryland and cast as the supporting lead in Douglas Forrester’s Carry The Darkness.

Helen Laser - Stacey Wagner - Helen is a New York City based actor and voiceover artist. She began her film career at 15, starring in an award-winning viral PSA about kindness. The video now has over 36 million views. Most recently, Helen has appeared on television, in films that have graced the festival circuit world-wide, in various stage performances, and has an illustrious voiceover and audiobook career. Most notably, Helen narrates for Audible and Penguin Randomhouse, and is the voice of Annie’s Homegrown. She is a member of SAG-AFTRA, a published writer, appreciator of all things spooky, and likes to paint and play various instruments, including auto-harp, accordion, ukulele, and clarinet.

Hollis Fox - Detective Jillian Carter - Hollis is a NYC based actor and UNC- Chapel Hill graduate. In New York Hollis has studied with Tim Phillips, Terry Schreiber, Heidi Marshall and Vance Barber. Always looking to challenge herself, she recently co-directed and co-starred in an apocalyptic short film called Evangeline Spring. Some favorite credits include: The Night Runner (title role, writer, producer), The Jesus Picture (Best Actress at LongIsland Film Festival), and Bear in Evangeline Spring.

Current Team