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Earlier this month, the Eden Prairie Historical Society held a makeshift theater in the lounge of the historic Cummins-Phipps-Grill.
People sat quietly in folding chairs, their eyes focused on the small screen that played the short horror film “Doll”.
On the dark and quiet night outside, the film’s ominous music seemed to be the perfect soundtrack to the scenery both on and off the screen.
After all, a movie about a young girl named Violet who finds a doll in the woods and unknowingly makes a deal with a demon when he brings it home was filmed in that house earlier this year.
The film’s debut at home, which plays such a key role in its plot, was watched mainly by members of the historical society.
When it was over, one person quipped, “now you all want to go hiking upstairs.” Another person laughed, “Make sure the lights are on.”
Without revealing any spoilers, the upstairs wardrobe plays a key role in this final scene. The living room and kitchen also appear in the film.
The film, written and directed by Alex Arredondo, premiered in April at the Z-Fest Film Festival, where it won several awards. Original, seven-minute-long films made by local filmmakers are presented in the Twin Cities competition.
Arredondo and his crew spent two days at home in January. He was looking for a place with a rich history for his directorial debut, and a brick farmhouse built in 1879-80 for John R. and Mattie Cummins fit the bill.
Kathie Case, president of the Eden Prairie Historical Society, told cinemas that Arredondo had paid $ 1,000 to use the house.
The house is owned by the city and is leased by the Historical Society. Available for private events (such as movies), any money earned from these rentals comes back home.
“It’s a great win,” Case said, adding that Arredondo had told her he wanted to do a sequel. “We got some money to renovate and got a nice movie that was shot here.”
“The Doll” was one of the two film productions that planned to use the house last winter (profiled in the history of the EPLN).
The second project, a full-length independent horror film “Preserved”, has been postponed probably for next year. Its director, Molly Worre, planned to shoot interiors there.
“It was fun having it here,” Case said of the movie Arredondo. “And that kind of opens the door for other people (to make films there).”
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