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This is an extraordinary film which portrays the intense experience that victims of 'alien abduction' go through. This is a well documented phenomenon and the descriptions from people who believe they have undergone them have much in common. The subject was even researched by a professor at Harvard, the late Dr. John E. Mack, which ended up putting his career on the line. Dr Mack believed he was near to the truth about what was happening and this film may also be a step in the right direction towards a definitive explanation. Christopher Walken is superb in the role of Whitley Streiber, a rather wacky and annoying New York writer, who encounters alien beings at his country house. The first sight he has of the creature in his bedroom is one of the most intensely frightening scenes ever filmed and is the beginning of the real life nightmare Strieber and his family are then plunged into. Their further experiences are in turn scary, comic and disturbing and the film offers no easy answers as to exactly what this all means. There is however a lot of food for thought and anyone with the slightest interest in the subject of alien abductions should watch it.
Wow! If you haven't seen this flick and your a big fan of Christopher Walken, you're in for a treat. Walken plays one of the most bizarre characters in this film. Not only does he get abducted by aliens but he himself is out of this world when it comes to his personality. Check it out, you're gonna love it.
Whitley Strieber's book is a completely different experience than this
Many of the incidents portrayed in the movie do not adequately convey the emotions and actions of the principals. There are also scenes that are overly stylized, detracting from the enormity of the subject.
Christopher Walken, while a fine actor, is completely off in his portrayal of Strieber. Strieber is much more studious, somewhat mild-mannered, yet logically inquisitive.
Anyone interested in this film should read Strieber's books - they are much more intense than the motion picture.
I rented this one again after having remembered enjoying it when I was a kid. Man... I don't know what I was thinking back then. Although there are some very interesting concepts discussed in this film (and moreso in the book), this is just an example of a good idea poorly executed. Horrible special effects (the blue creatures are especially laughable) are one of the films biggest flaws, but the absolute biggest flaw of them all is Walken's portrayal of Streiber. I almost couldn't watch the movie because his character was so annoying and, as another poster mention, goofy. Someone smack that stupid hat off his head, please. Maybe it was just the writing, but I actually found most of the performances, Walken's included, pretty bad... Again, I think this is probably just do to really poorly written dialogue. It'd be nice to see someone redo this one.
Ever read 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe'? Remember that scene where
Peter and Susan talk to the professor because they're worried about Lucy?
Lucy claims that she visited another world by stepping inside a wardrobe.
The professor responds by stating quite logically, "either she is lying,
is mad, or she is telling the truth. Lucy is quite a truthful person, and
one only needs to look at her to see that she is not mad. Therefore for
we must assume that she is telling the truth."
That statement perfectly describes Whitley Strieber's very strange case. If he is lying, then why has he passed numerous lie detector tests? If he is crazy, then why have numerous doctors failed to diagnose him with schizophrenia, temporal lobe epilepsy, etc. And why have numerous people had strange experiences at his cabin? As Arthur Conan Doyle once said, "Once you rule out the impossible..."
I would highly recommend people watch this very scary film. The scenes at Strieber's cabin and while he is hypnotized were really creepy. They left a lasting impression on me. Christopher Walken gives a compelling performance as Whitley Strieber (Strieber probably isn't this eccentric in real life).
I wish I could say this film was perfect but this was not so. The scenes in between the 'abduction' sequences were less compelling, and the film drags on at least ten minutes past when it should have ended. Still the film is a good introduction to the alien abduction phenomenon and to Strieber's book. It may make you leave the lights on at night.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Communion is a bizarre and conflicted treat. I believe a number of those involved with the making of the film had differing ideas as to what the film was about and what was fact. Walken plays Whitley Strieber, a man that investigates his supposed encounters with aliens. Strieber reportedly told Walken he was playing the role "too crazy" to which Walken replied "If the shoe fits...". This sums up the difficult story being told here. The film never gives a clear answer on what the truth is, nor which characters believe what. It's more an examination of reality, imagination, truth, and all out mental psychological weirdness. It begins as a rather terrifying film. The aliens (fake looking) appear bit by bit, and their simplicity adds an artificial and uncomfortable atmosphere. It becomes apparent that the aliens are meant to look fake, as they are later used as a tool for identity and realism. We see other aliens wearing alien masks and the lack of realism lures us into a bizarre, comical and unsettling world. Communion is a confusing film, but if you are willing to let a film punch your brain you should seek it out. Comes with a haunting main theme by Eric Clapton.
-- The Book:
I just read the book last month, and it was a very anticipated read (with me having seen the movie years prior and the book being a best seller and all). And in this case, I wasn't all that thrilled after reading it. Don't get me wrong, it's a great book. Whitley has a clever writing-style. He fights a constant psychological battle, on the one hand coming up with evidence that he really was abducted by aliens, while otherwise trying to refute the experience with other, more rational explanations. He also, at times, delves into folklore and mythology, though he only scratches the tip of the iceberg and doesn't really develop nor support any theories. This book's really about him and his experience. Makes up for an interesting read, but the downside is, that the book becomes very repetitive after a while. Strieber keeps on going over the same events that happened on two nights in such a way that after a while he really isn't adding anything new. Not a new angle, nor a new light on the matter. And at such times, it gets a little harder to sit through his whole story. Nevertheless, it's an interesting read, and great material to compare to the screenplay of the movie (also written by Strieber).
-- The Movie:
The 1989 adaptation is one that grew on me. I just finished watching it for the 3rd time (after quite some years), and I like it better now. The film itself is actually more entertaining than the book, so again, Strieber managed to write a clever adaptation. True, near the end the story gets quite fragmented, and results more in the telling of anecdotes than actually trying to wrap up an already incoherent story (note that I'm not using the word 'inconsistent', because Strieber is very consistent in his way of telling the events, both in the book and the movie). It's fun, though, noticing little details that he left out of the movie. Sometimes Strieber devoted a whole chapter in the book to a certain anecdote, while in the movie it gets reduced to nothing more than one line of dialogue (obviously carrying a lot more weight than you'd at first imagine). Christopher Walken plays Strieber, and he simply owns the film. It's great to see him walk and talk through this whole movie. The special effects are really neat and surreal at times, which fits the atmosphere of the movie. I'd say COMMUNION is really worth a watch. Reading the book gives you a more in-depth look on what happened and might help you to understand how the movie came to be.
There's a close contest between the other-worldly beings and
Christopher Walken as to who is creepiest in this (allegedly true) tale
of a writer who isn't sure if he's being visited by aliens or by
insanity. It doesn't help that the creatures are referred to at one
point as the little blue doctors, and in this is the essence of the
movie never has there been such a fine line between being scared and
in hysterics, simultaneously. The visitations are eerie, dream-like
events that are sometimes unsettling although there is also a mildly
ridiculous feel to the proceedings which lends these scenes a strange
The plot itself is primarily concerned with Walken's character and his gradual mental collapse, along with the strain his behaviour has on his wife and child. Walken is predictably fascinating as a seriously eccentric author, and is supported by an assured cast.
80% - Close Encounters, 10% - Hunter Thomson, 10% - Weird dreams,
In 1985, sci-fi novelist Whitney Striber had a dream which led to a
close encounter. It became the subject for his book 'Communion' which
became a best-seller. Four years later he gives us this. True story
though it may be, it is clearly too personal for Striber to manipulate
(even just a little bit) to make it the right shape and form for a
movie. Instead it remains too abstract, and subsequently clumsy. But
that is only half the problem.
Communion wins my award for biggest miscast in cinema history. Christopher Walken does everything wrong, starting with the way he delivers his dialogue. He is not even remotely engaged in the story, he is emotionally dead. Walken is portraying somebody who went though what must've been the most traumatic experience that a person could have. The only time he comes close to showing signs of trauma is his ability to make himself cry (a little) at the end of one scene.
Next, there is the matter of visual effects. If you were to walk into a room where this was on TV, and up to the part when we meet the 'little blue doctors' and their slightly taller, skinnier red-skinned cousins, you might think you were watching an Ed Wood flick, or something from that decade. Looking at these creatures, one is more likely to think they are cute rather than creepy or surreal. Anything that looks like rubber on strings belongs in a puppet theatre, not in a sci-fi thriller.
I guess the only crew member who did a competent job in their field is Eric Clapton, who wrote a good theme for an otherwise mediocre score. Communion has much potential, but sadly it ends up being one of those films that you are glad when it is over.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
above average flick is quite creepy at times with beautiful images that are sometimes down right moody and creepy it also had good character development and the acting was amazing Christopher Walken was astonishing here in my opinion he is this film and he alone makes this worth watching he was creepy funny all at the same time i cared for him and his character and i felt for him when he went through these things Lindsay Crouse is good as the caring and concerned wife she gives a credible performance and is likable good job! this also had cool visuals but that kid annoyed me and thought he was a bit of a brat there is a couple of cool moments when Walken goes and see's the hypnotist and another cool moment when he grabs a gun and fires it in his house the ending however was quite disappointing but overall this was a engaging time that is quite intelligent if only not for that weak ending *** Out of 5 skirts a **1/2 because of that weak ending but i was engaged the whole way so it gets a ***
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