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Communion (1989)

Whitley Strieber goes with his family and some friends to his holiday home in the forest. They experience some weird occurances, are they UFO activity? Whitley is abducted and then faces a ... See full summary »

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(book), (screenplay)
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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Director: Douglas Trumbull
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Anne Strieber
...
Dr. Janet Duffy
...
Alex
...
Sarah
Joel Carlson ...
Andrew Strieber
...
Fireman
...
Mrs. Greenberg (as Dee Dee Rescher)
Aileen Fitzpatrick ...
Mother
R.J. Miller ...
Father
...
Praying Mantis Girl
...
Woman from Apartment
Juliet Sorci ...
Second Grade Girl (as Juliet Sorcey)
Tifni Twitchell ...
Teacher
Joshua Miller ...
Tall Boy (as Joshua John Miller)
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Storyline

Whitley Strieber goes with his family and some friends to his holiday home in the forest. They experience some weird occurances, are they UFO activity? Whitley is abducted and then faces a horrible dilema; was I abducted or am I going mad? He sees a psychiatrist who tries to use hypnotic regression to discover the truth. Written by Matthew Stanfield <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

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The true story of one man's terrifying journey into the unknown. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

10 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Besucher  »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$1,919,653 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whitley Strieber's Alien Contact books are usually cataloged as "Psychical Research" or "Paranormal". However, the cassette audio-book of Communion, read by 'Roddy McDowell' and produced by a Hertfordshire company called "Redback", simply has the word "FICTION" on the back of the inlay. This could have been a compromise to preserve the credibility of a start-up company and increase publicity for Strieber at the same time. See more »

Goofs

As Whitley opens the closet to find the teddy bear he opens the right closet door. When filmed from the inside, both doors are open and he then proceeds to close the left door. See more »

Quotes

Whitley Strieber: Awful... Terrible.
Dr. Janet Duffy: What's terrible?
Whitley Strieber: What they did to me.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Black Books (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ
Written by Irving Berlin
(c) Irving Berling Music Corporation
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User Reviews

 
Wake up, we've got overnight visitors.
3 July 2006 | by (the Mad Hatter's tea party.) – See all my reviews

Whitley Strieber is a writer who goes off with his family and couple of friends to his holiday home in the woods. During their first night there they experience a strange sensation involving a blinding light and they all had the same startling experience. Whitley shrugs it off as a dream, but then he starts hallucinating and seeing unearthly figures. Is he going mad or was he abducted? So, he sees a psychiatrist to go under hypnosis to see what really did happen to him.

How strangely surreal can this get! I was simply bug-eyed to what the hell was going on and Christopher Walken's spontaneously intense performance just kept you guessing and totally riveted. The story is supposedly based on true facts and lifted from Whitley Strieber's novel, which also did the screenplay for the film. This touchy subject matter will have a lot of its sceptics, but this piece I found to be an engrossing format that builds an authentically sincere approach to its controversial nature, even despite its very outlandish, quite silly and largely dreamy nature. But anyway, that's surrealism for ya! The story is emotionally moody and that can be attributed a lot Walken's erratic character - who rambles on until the cows come home about whatever he's thinking and cracking out rather humorous jokes. At times I didn't have a clue what he was going on about! But Walken is simply ace in a role that's fits him perfectly.

The first half of the film is actually creepy with its atmospheric lighting, bone rattling sound effects and stinging score. This side of the story is psychologically powering as we watch the realistic deterioration, traumatic stress and the denial of Whitley. When we get our first (and vastly memorable) glimpse of our out-of-town visitors too- it's visually surreal and eerily unnerving. It gave me the shivers! But that very feel changes course in the second half of the film were it becomes uneven and we get a break down on Whitely coming to terms and accepting his fate. But there's one thing that hits you and that this whole joint feels like one large dream with it's change in moods, bizarre hallucinations, blurry intentions and that you'll forget about large chunks of it after experiencing it. Yeah, it's rather forgettable with only a couple of scenes that stick with you and that's basically the whack-out sequences. I don't know, but I was expecting a little more to come out of the layout and it does clock off with some meandering scenes, but if Walken was on screen it was hard not to be compelled. The script can get a bit self-indulgent and distant, while the sweeping guitar riffs are terribly dated. Although it's a low-budgeted flick the special effects are well implemented and the rubbery alien designs are adeptly crafted. Philippe Mora who brought us such films like "The Howling 2 and 3" adds his distinguishable style and generates some extremely haunting and effective build-ups. His confidence in the production and that in Walken makes his direction one of the film's standing assets. The rest of the cast pale in comparison to Walken, but Lindsey Crouse as Whitley's on-edge wife and Frances Sternhagen as Dr. Janet Duffy work off him greatly. I got to say that the best time to watch this one - is late night… I guarantee.

It's not totally successful, but it's an interestingly odd project with capable direction by Mora and a sensational central performance from Walken.


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