Laguna Beach, California | Film Short


Alex Sosin

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This campaign raised $18,560 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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Four friends meet one year after the end of the Vietnam War and run afoul of a demonic presence in the creepy wilderness of California, unleashing a haunting truth none of them are ready to face.

About The Project

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

Mission Statement

In addition to its relevant message about the consequences of war, "The Canyon" is told from a strong woman's point of view, as Karen, our protagonist, fights to uncover the truth behind the demonic presence stalking her and her friends and face that shocking truth head on.

The Story

In 1976, one year after the end of the Vietnam War, four friends journey to an isolated California canyon to pay tribute to a fallen soldier friend who committed suicide in the wilderness a year earlier...
But something is alive in the canyon, a terrifying entity that begins to stalk the group and pick them off one by one, leaving the last two survivors to uncover the truth behind the demonic presence and plan their escape.




Karen (Played by Samantha Siong): Strong-willed but haunted, Karen is the widow of Shelby, a soldier who returned from 'Nam only to commit suicide deep in an isolated canyon retreat. When Karen invites her friends to that very canyon to pay tribute to Shelby on the one year anniversary of his death, nothing will prepare them for the unspeakable evil that awaits.
Bud: (Played by Carson Nicely) A friend of both Karen and Shelby, the tough and resorseful Bud is there for Karen as she pays tribute to her late husband. But will Bud's choice of dodging the draft come back to haunt him? 
Michelle: (Played by Megan Lee Joy) Kind and carefree, hipster Michelle joins her friends for the weekend getaway tribute. But, after a night of intoxication and a mysterious disappearance, Michelle will realize only too late that something, or someone, is after her. Something that may not be human, or even alive. 
Dennis: (Played by Mike Bash) Michelle's playfully sarcastic husband would much rather be at the beach than out in the wildrerness paying tribute to a deceased friend. Like Bud, he dodged the draft. And, like Bud, he may soon regret that fateful decision.


The Canyon represents an era when horror tended to be more psychological than physical and CGI simply was not an option. A horrific mesh of Deliverance, Duel, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), and Picnic at Hanging Rock, The Canyon will have the look and feel of old fashioned, earthy filmmaking, hopefully creating unease for the audience even when there is no visible monster on screen.


Horror film festivals and beyond! We want to make a serious impact with viewers, enough to gain studio recognition (see what happened with Lights Out, which started as a short of the same name) and acclaim for everyone involved. This could one day lead to financing for a feature down the line.



It is my sincerest hope that The Canyon will be a perfect mesh of retro cinematic technique, thought-provoking storytelling, and a message that is both poignant and terrifying: No matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid the consequences of war, even as civilians back home. One way or another, we all have our demons, and there comes a time when we must face them. 
I want The Canyon to feel unique yet familiar, haunting yet poetic, like a lost piece of celluloid over forty years old that was suddenly unearthed deep in the forboding wild. From my talented quartet of actors to my Director of Photography, from my First AD to my makeup FX artist, I think all of us hope that shooting and completing The Canyon will result in an unnerving vision that stands the test of time and gains recognition and acclaim in horror and non-horror film festivals to come.


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

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Vehicle rentals

Costs $1,200

From parked cars to a retro van, we're looking for actual vehicles from the Seventies.


Costs $5,000

Pro bono will only take producers so far.


Costs $5,000

We can't have anybody working for free, now can we?

Location Fees

Costs $2,500

To maximize the experience of a spooky atmosphere, we're going into the woods, baby!

Make-up FX!

Costs $1,200

Unless we hire an actual demon, makeup artist Morgan will need some love for her ghoulish creations.


Costs $1,000

Let's face it. The better we're fed (and rested), the better the shoot!

Costumes and Props

Costs $700

Help us find killer, period-piece costumes and props straight out of 1976 for maximum authenticity.

About This Team


Samantha Siong ("Karen") is an actress and producer, known for Blood Night: The Legend of Mary Hatchet (2009), Wheels (2014), and 22 Weeks (2015). Director Alex Sosin has been friends with Samantha for years and always thought that her naturalistic acting style made her a perfect fit to play the strong-willed but haunted Karen. This will be their first film together.


Carson Nicely ("Bud") is an actor and comedian originally from Tennessee. Director Alex Sosin chose him for the role of "Bud" after seeing his dead-serious screen test of a crucial scene, one that would define Bud's dynamic with Karen's for rest of the story. Since Carson's recent move to Hollywood, he has appeared regularly in various comedy sketches on Conan O'Brien playing a variety of different characters. Prior film work includes the feature film Matchmakers Playbook directed by Tosca Musk and a lead role in Other Halves directed by Matthew T. Price. His HBO show Euphoria comes out in July. Carson writes, directs and stars in his own sketch comedy YouTube channel - that has 3 million + viewers. Follow along on his social media: CarsonNicely


Megan Lee Joy ("Michelle") is an actress and producer, known for Shevenge (2015), Glee (2009), and The Attack (2015). Like actress Samantha Siong, director Alex Sosin has wanted to work with Megan for years, and knew that she could easily pull off the peaceful but ultimately tainted innocence of "Michelle". Megan graduated from the University of Oregon with a double major, one in Theater Arts and another in Communication Disorders & Sciences. A self professed tom boy, Megan ran around in the forest (aka. her backyard) every day for 10 years. During this period she pretty much only wore black and would scream if her mom ever tried to put a dress on her. Though she has come into her own as a beautiful young woman, she still loves rock climbing, backpacking and running wild in the woods! Director Alex Sosin has Megan to thank for recommending both Carson Nicely and Mike Bash for the roles of "Bud" and "Dennis" respectively.


Mike Bash ("Dennis") grew up in NY and loves to eat. He has a recurring role on the new BET show Games People Play and The Deuce on HBO this fall. Director Alex Sosin chose Mike for his humourous nature, a nature that could ultimately turn serious if it had to. Mike has also been on Black-ish (ABC), Stand up, Away (Netflix), and Westworld  (HBO). He will be on a national tour this year with a brand new Apollo 11 show to celebrate the 50th anniversary. "Thanks to my big NJ/NY/LA family and thanks to Alex and Meg for the opportunity! Also shoutout to Lebron just for being Lebron." Representation: LoveStone Agency


Alex Sosin (Writer, Director, Producer, The Canyon) is a Laguna Beach native and graduate of Chapman University’s School of Film and Television program. For his senior thesis, Alex wrote and directed Freedom’s Gate, an award-winning action short in which an Israeli ex-commando battles neo-Nazi terrorists who have taken a high school hostage. He cut his teeth in the industry as a documentarian for the entire 7-month duration of the filming of Rush Hour 3. Alex currently is working with director Scott Spiegel (Evil Dead 2, Hostel) to seek financing for his screenplay, Wrath, an Eighties horror throwback involving a killer witch, while several other of his specs continue to do the rounds in high profile screenwriting competitions. The Canyon remains a serious passion project for Alex, and he looks forward to telling a unique and chilling story reminiscent of the kinds of horror films he grew up with, a story that will stand the test of time and be a worthy entry in horror-centric film festivals to come.


Cory Sparkuhl (Director of Photography, Editor, Producer, The Canyon) is, like Alex Sosin, obsessed with all things film. It was only natural for these two Laguna natives and friends to collaborate on The Canyon, the perfect project to demonstrate cost-effective filmmaking and creative visual storytelling in an ever expanding horror market. Cory's passion for filming started at age 11, the first time he picked up the Hi-8 camera that he was gifted on his birthday. Cory is a graduate of Video Symphony in Burbank, where he had worked on a plethora of software programs such as AVID, Adobe After Effects, and 3D animation. He is now the heart and soul of his self-created local media group, Sparkle Films, a company dedicated to directing TV shows, commercials, promos, and events while striving to make their many clients feel special and unique. Cory is extremely committed to every project he touches and is 100% hands on for all editing and filming.


Morgan Falschleher (Makeup Effects Supervisor) is a SFX makeup artist from Los Angeles and the founder of her own company, Witching Hour FX. Morgan has years of makeup experience, having worked on many short films. Director Alex Sosin has actor Mike Bash to thank for recommending Morgan, and is confident she will hit it out of the park when it comes to the creating the demonic presence stalking the main characters in The Canyon.


Alexey Bever's (Photographer, Grip) close attention to detail in photography composition, as well as his phenominal post-production skill set, make him a tremendous asset to the team, not to mention that it's his hand performing the jump scare at the end of the Canyon teaser! Alexey is a photographer and cinematographer from Mission Viejo, CA. His began capturing his passion by photographing waves in Laguna Beach. Alexey strives to set his images apart from the other photographers, and we can't wait to see what he comes up with during the behind-the-scenes of the Canyon shoot. P.S. -- If Hollywood needs a hand model, they know who to call. ;)

Current Team