Film shot during the EP house premieres on April 23


Three months after “The Doll” was filmed at the Cummins-Phipps-Grill house in Eden Prairie, the horror short will debut to audiences later this month.

Alex Arredondo wrote and directed “The Doll”. Photo by Stuart Sudak

Written and directed by Alex Arredondo, “The Doll” is one of the entries screened at the Z-Fest Film Festival. This Twin Cities-based competition features seven-minute original films made by local filmmakers.

It will be screened as part of the festival’s Session 5 group of 10 films on Saturday April 23 at the Emagine Willow Creek Theater in Plymouth. “The Doll” is scheduled to start at 9:15 p.m.

“We’re waiting for the day to bring our beautiful movie to the big screen,” the St. Paul resident said on Friday, April 4.


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Arredondo and his team spent two days at the house in January. For his directorial debut, he was looking for a place steeped in history, and the brick farmhouse built in 1879-1880 for John R. and Mattie Cummins was the perfect fit.

He said it was like a dream to see the pieces of his film come to life in the editing process.

“I felt like I was walking on air watching the final cut of the film and hearing it set to music, hearing the sound effects,” he said. “It was one of those pinch moments.”

Although “The Doll” is a horror story, he said the chills were more psychological. The film tells the story of a young girl named Violet who finds a doll in the woods and unknowingly makes a deal with a demon when she brings it home.

The movie poster “The Doll”. It was designed by one of the actors, Sonya Nelson Boushek.

“With this film, I wanted it to be more atmospheric, as opposed to the creepy jumps,” he said of the film. “I think we knocked it out of the park with the tone, the atmosphere. This will really scare some people off.

Arredondo said there would be other opportunities for people to see the film. However, those details are still being worked out.

“The Doll” was one of two film productions planning to use the house this winter (as described in an EPLN story). The other project, an independent horror feature titled “Preserved”, has been postponed until next year. Its director, Molly Worre, had planned to shoot interior shots there.

Kathie Case, president of the Eden Prairie Historical Society, said the production was unable to find a farm in the north for exterior shots this winter before the snow melted.

The Cummins-Phipps-Grill House is owned by the city and leased by the Historical Society. Available for private event rentals (such as movies), all money generated from these rentals goes back into the house.

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