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 »



(book), (screenplay)

On Disc

at Amazon

1 nomination. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Intruders (TV Series 1992)
Biography | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

All over the world, people report they've been visited by aliens, taken aboard spaceships and medically examined. The authorities appear to know all about these visits but won't acknowledge... See full summary »

Stars: Richard Crenna, Mare Winningham, Susan Blakely
Biography | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.

Director: Robert Lieberman
Stars: D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer
Night Skies (2007)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

On March 13th, 1997 one of the largest UFO sightings ever recorded took place across the southwestern United States. The event became known as the 'Phoenix Lights' and was witnessed by ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Knyrim
Stars: Jason Connery, A.J. Cook, George Stults
Roswell (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Beginning at a 30-year reunion for members of a military nuclear bomb unit, flashbacks are presented that follow the attempts of Major Jesse Marcel to discover the truth about strange ... See full summary »

Director: Jeremy Kagan
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Martin Sheen, Dwight Yoakam
Communion (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Father Clemence, a man burned by his faith, has taken in search of retribution. Along the way, he is joined by Maria, a hitch hiking punk, who is fleeing her home in Mexico City. Together, ... See full summary »

Director: Greg Hall
Stars: Paul Marlon, Ana Gonzalez Bello, Lee Ingleby
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Directors: Mark Mitchell, Brian Avenet-Bradley
Calendar Girl (1993)
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Three young men go on an end of the summer trip to Hollywood, CA. Their quest: to fulfill the fantasy of meeting Marilyn Monroe.

Director: John Whitesell
Stars: Jason Priestley, Gabriel Olds, Jerry O'Connell
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

An American journalist is set up and fed false information after the Lebanon war.

Director: Nathaniel Gutman
Stars: Christopher Walken, Hywel Bennett, Marita Marschall
Brainstorm (1983)
Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Brilliant researchers Lillian Reynolds and Michael Brace have developed a system of recording and playing back actual experiences of people. Once the capability of tapping into "higher ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Trumbull
Stars: Christopher Walken, Natalie Wood, Louise Fletcher
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A boy tries to stop aliens who have taken over his town and are attempting to brainwash its inhabitants.

Director: Tobe Hooper
Stars: Karen Black, Hunter Carson, Timothy Bottoms
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

After a mysterious blackout, a son goes out to investigate and captures footage of actual aliens. When the aliens follow him and his brothers back to their home, all hell breaks loose.

Director: Dean Alioto
Stars: Benz Antoine, Kristian Ayre, Gillian Barber
Altered (2006)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Fifteen years ago, a group of men's lives were forever changed by a strange occurrence. Now, the same group of men will spend a night together ... in terror.

Director: Eduardo Sánchez
Stars: Adam Kaufman, Catherine Mangan, Brad William Henke


Cast overview, first billed only:
Anne Strieber
Dr. Janet Duffy
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 <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

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: Oh, these crazy women.
See more »


Featured in The Nightmare (2015) See more »


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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An objective review...I hope.
2 December 2002 | by (Annapolis, MD) – See all my reviews

In "Communion," Whitley Strieber's autobiographical book comes to life...sort of. Viewing this movie is a strange experience, and certainly not for all tastes. It is a very cerebral piece of work from a director who did not wholeheartedly agree with Strieber's interpretation of the events surrounding his so-called abduction. Phillipe Mora makes an effort to give the film an air of surrealism, right down to even having the blatant symbolism of DeChirico paintings on the walls of Strieber's home (whether or not Strieber actually had such paintings is beside the point). The director tries to give the impression that Strieber is suffering a breakdown while simultaneously trying to present the events without too much distortion. Tough task...it's easy to see why the film seems diluted and without chemistry.

However, this also provides the film with an atmosphere that can also help enhance the whole point, which is not "was Whitley Strieber abducted by aliens," but rather "how did Whitley's interpretation of an inexplicable event effect him and those around him?" One of the last scenes, an exchange between Strieber and his wife in a museum, conveys this point perfectly. "It's just God, masks of God." It can be equated with a religious experience, feeling the touch of God. Strieber FELT the touch of an outside presence. Does that mean he was visited by aliens? This is irrelevant, and I firmly believe that this is what the point of the film should be. And let's face it, the film is called "Communion," which means "to be at one with God."

The mechanics of the film are rather well constructed. Christopher Walken is in fine form as Strieber, giving a wonderful portrayal of a writer on the edge (of a discovery or his sanity?). Lindsay Crouse does a good job as Strieber's wife. The acting is slightly flat in some areas, but this might've been another device of Mora's to add to the surrealism. Constant uses of the New York skyline add a sense of foreboding to the film, not just because of the beauty of these scenes, but because it helps give the impression of an outside presence. The music (with Eric Clapton on guitar) is pretty good, typical of the synthesizer-based scores of most '80's movies, but it adds well to the setting. And even though the special effects may seem laughable, Mora has made the case (perhaps pretentiously) that this was also deliberate. The FOX TV version (which seems to be the version being shown on Showtime Digital Cable) adds several sequences, and increases the light contrast in certain scenes, adding a glowing white haze to many scenes. Some have complained about the scene in the psychiatrist's office being so bright, but I think it also helps get the message that there may be an outside presence surrounding all of us, whether we recognize it or not.

"Communion" is an interesting movie that suffered from a view that was perhaps too short-sighted. If the film were made today, one can be sure the message might have been lost on overbloated special effects, and the surreal effect would've been diminished to appeal to the lowest common denominator of movie-going audiences. No matter what your stance on alien abduction, this is a very thought-provoking film. Give it a chance...watch it.

34 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
worth seeing for one scene. djshatter
Fear of Aliens Barteltja
Incident with my own family involving a grey sighting. Kottandogi
Was this or not? Movies_For_Life
Communion or fire in the sky ? seph82
how graphic? dfeatthedarkness-1
Discuss Communion (1989) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: