Communion (1989)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Horror  |  10 November 1989 (USA)
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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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1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Strieber
Dr. Janet Duffy
Terri Hanauer ...
Joel Carlson ...
Andrew Strieber
Mrs. Greenberg
Aileen Fitzpatrick ...
R.J. Miller ...
Praying Mantis Girl
Woman from Apartment
Juliet Sorci ...
Second Grade Girl (as Juliet Sorcey)
Tifni Twitchell ...
Joshua Miller ...
Tall Boy (as Joshua John Miller)


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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

10 November 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Die Besucher  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)


$1,919,653 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Director Philippe Mora wanted star Christopher Walken involved in the casting of whomever played 'Anne Strieber'. It was Walken who suggested Lindsay Crouse. See more »


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 »


Whitley Strieber: What do I call a book about you?
See more »


Referenced in Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990) See more »


Written by Irving Berlin
(c) Irving Berling Music Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Thoughtful treatment of controversial subject.
19 June 1999 | by (Natick, MA, USA) – See all my reviews

The film depicts the personal and professional crises a writer experiences after a series of encounters with non-human beings.

The film strongly benefits from the performances of Christopher Walken and Lindsay Crouse. Walken (always engaging) manages the challenging task of making Whitley Strieber a compelling character; you care about him even if you don't necessarily like him 100% of the time. Crouse succeeds as Whitley's wife; the two together are immediately believable as a married couple.

The film is arguably the most intelligent film about the alien abduction/ visitor phenomenon. Unlike countless cheap, made-for-TV films, where the emphasis is on the sensationalistic, "shocking" aspects of the subject, COMMUNION focuses on the psychological and emotional harm the experience does. We see Strieber describe his experiences to his medical doctor, and then to a psychiatrist. Once his own mental health has been established, then (and only then) does he begin to consider the possibility that the creatures he has seen are actually real.

After questioning everyone from medical professionals to fellow abductees, Whitley realizes the only ones with the answers are the visitors themselves. At the film's climax, he willingly presents himself to the visitors. This is what makes COMMUNION transcend every other film about the phenomenon.

Director Phillipe Mora successfully creates a "you-are-there" atmosphere, letting the actors improvise a lot of their dialogue. There are two distinct moods: one, where things are brightly lit, secure, and normal; and secondly, the dark, unsettling world Strieber inhabits only with himself and with the visitors. Mora's direction is subtle, with cues in both the dialogue and a detailed, occasionally wry visual style.

Another plus is Eric Clapton's opening and closing theme music.

This is a seriously underrated film.

The director's cut (with commentary by Mora) is recommended.

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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