Gerry Maravilla doesn’t waste time. Not his own, and not his viewers’. He’s been keeping us waiting for his next film release since Desert (2017), but the time hasn’t been wasted- and ours won’t be either when his next film premieres. Halloween Club has been his passion project since Cross and Gerry’s very nearly ready to begin the serious work of unveiling it to the world piece by piece over the course of pre-production leading up to its release.
What I can say based on what I’ve seen and read of Maravilla’s work thus far on HC is that he’s no idle armchair critic, he’s a lifelong student of the craft and his latest work shows an attention to detail that makes for a rich, layered narrative. As with any urban legend that becomes part of the zeitgeist, Maravilla’s premise is simple: three friends who meet every Halloween to celebrate the holiday together meet one last time.
However, all folklore has its lessons, all urban legends and scary stories juxtapose against the morals and ethics of the time, either in concordance or contradiction. Maravilla’s approach to Halloween Club is simple and plants itself firmly as an indictment of the American Dream writ in the dialect of a psychological thriller.
There are many routes to horror. In some cases, we arrive by going from the familiar to the unknown, the definite to the opaque, or the quantifiable to the immeasurable and all that means to our sense of safety and self.
Maravilla is taking the route of a path crumbling beneath his main character, Gena’s feet. Dreams and promises unfulfilled, and the darkness through which we tread when society fails to live up to its end of the bargain for our work. What then if we have nothing else to live or work for? This is not American Horror Story, but it is very much America’s horror story: how much it demands in payment for its promises, and how everything we might give might never be enough.
Through a simple ritual among friends which began in adolescence, Maravilla will take us into the final, terrifying night of a Halloween club among three friends with shared tragic history. Maravilla has considered much to color every choice, every line of dialogue his characters make, especially his lead, Gena.
That Gena is Mexican-American makes this story more than a little prescient at this cultural and socio-political moment, and Maravilla is taking great care to show both her scars and her strength in this tale. The club’s initial raison d’être as a tradition started by nine year olds to have fun and live out their dreams and fantasies will clash violently with the realities of its members’ present adult lives and tragedies in Maravilla’s next major project.
Maravilla has not wasted any time in his work developing and evolving this script. Every element of character history, motivation, and the ritual he’ll bring to the screen for us to witness has its purpose in the reality so many people wake up to after too many nights trying to live on the promise of the American dream.
Maravilla is not wasting any time. Not his own, and not yours. Follow him for updates on this project on Twitter & Instagram (@gerrymaravilla), and look for broader updates as he moves into pre-production on his website, gerrymaravilla.com.