October 20, 2020

Duppies – Cayman’s next scary movie


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Alexandra Alveranga who plays the duppy (ghost) in the movie

Duppies (“Ghosts”) is the name of a new scary movie, shot in the Cayman Islands using local actors. It is the very first movie that Phil Eckstein, who wrote, directed, and produced the movie, has ever made.

Although he has written three novels before, as well as a screenplay for last year’s Zombie Driftwood movie, making his own movie from scratch was really a completely new area:

“I’ve never really liked cameras. All I’ve ever done before was videoed nephews at Christmas time – that kind of thing,” Mr. Eckstein says.

Mr. Eckstein felt inspired, after talking to Cinematographer Dave McWhinnie:

“I got a lot of time to sit and talk with him on the set of the Zombie Driftwood movie.” He said, “If you want to do it then just do it.”

And that is exactly what Mr. Eckstein did.

“The concept for the movie came from me and my wife sitting at home one night. We heard this noise in the other room and, just like everybody does we said, ‘What was that?’” he recalled.

“Then I got thinking about how many times you think you heard a noise, or you saw a shadow go by. I started using the ‘What If?’ theory – saying, ‘Well, what if there is somebody in the house? What if the owners got killed in the house? And I just kept going with the ‘what ifs’ until I got a story idea in my head and I started writing.

“The whole thing was shot on a budget of CI$2,750. All the people in the movie had regular jobs so we shot it at the weekends, and it took about a month.

“Everybody wanted to do it. That’s what made it fun and interesting and that’s how I managed to get it done so fast and at such a low cost,” Mr. Eckstein said.

The movie is all about a young couple who buy their dream home in the Cayman Islands, but it doesn’t take long before strange things start happening. When they start doing some research on the property they find that the father and daughter disappeared after the mother was accidentally killed in the house.

Writer, Director and Producer of Duppies, Phil Eckstein

“They come to find out in the end that the father and daughter still occupy the house. It leads to a final confrontation between the father and daughter and the new owners,” Mr. Eckstein said.

Mr. Eckstein believes that the movie came together so well because he believed in it: “You have to do something that you enjoy doing because you’re never going to please everybody,” he added.

The premiere of Duppies takes place at the Prospect Playhouse on 15 November.

Tickets cost CI$10 and are available from Cayman Box Office, telephone 9250760, or by emailing [email protected] They will also be available from the theatre door, on the night of the movie.

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