He Went That Way is a taut thriller set in 1964 that is based on a true crime story that puts a wicked spin on the buddy road trip film. The film follows 19-year-old serial killer Bobby (Jacob Elordi) as he is picked up by a celebrity animal handler, Jim (Zachary Quinto), on a desolate stretch of Route 66 with priceless cargo in tow: Jim’s chimpanzee, Spanky, an American TV darling. As stress between Bobby and Jim rises and their fiery personalities combust, the road only becomes more treacherous the farther they go.

Available from Vertical Entertainment

Starring – Jacob Elordi, Zachary Quinto, Patrick J. Adams

Director’s Statement – Jeffrey Darling

He Went That Way is a thriller road film that was shot with a small team that places most events in locations selectively styled to the timeline of 1964.

Late nights, isolated petrol stations, dirt side roads, small town hotel rooms, and the strange small-town ballroom are some of the environments in our palette. Our visual approach is derived from the story’s sense of the ironic, the connecting of disparate souls and the oddities of their individual situations. There is a sense of the absurd and playful as being taken on this thriller journey you also fall for both these characters as they find a strange sense of kinship. Here we give time to digest a character’s thoughts, to highlight a moment within a situation or a character’s emotion and question through weighted framing and camera movement. There is an added mystery and a playful sense of tension with these characters so unique and ambitions so simple. It is the lack of revealing, the totality of their situations that our camera plays on leading us to determine in our viewing certain directions that may or may not unfold. We have metaphors throughout, like the persistent car sounds that may or may not bring a twist of fate, the collection of travel souvenirs that also mark victims and the medicine consumed to pacify Jim’s ulcer: all were photographed with a higher sense of place, looking for some further meaning.

We feel part of an intelligent labyrinth strung along by a simple yet unique way of looking at these moments. It is filmmakers like the Coen brothers and Tarantino that have played to this in a thriller genre, but more to our approach is early Terence Malick films like “Badlands” with a more flowing sense to his camera and an allowance for character exploration as well Nicolas Winding Refn and his ever-curious film “Drive.” Ours is a piece defined by performances of Bobby and Jim and it is their ever-shifting chemistry that we are looking to present to the audience.

The film was shot within the limitations of the real journey. We embrace the restrictions of vehicle, space the limitations of nightfall that with an understanding of what dramatically will bring this piece forward is this combination of thriller yet ironic playfulness feeling more of the film style of the 70’s. Spanky’s story is enhanced with real period footage of his performances and guest appearances.

This drama is inspired by true events but it is not a documentary/biography of any character depicted in the drama. No scenes should be construed to represent a true or accurate recreation of the actual events that transpired. The story and the relationships between the characters depicted in the drama have been fictionalized. Any insinuation or resemblance of any character to any person, dead or alive, or the resemblance of the drama story to any real story is purely coincidental.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.