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|Index||49 reviews in total|
-- 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,
An successful novelist Whitley Strieber (Oscar-Winner:Christopher
Walken), who finds himself being visited by strange creatures from
another world in his cabin at the woods from the state of New York. Is
this unexplained phenomenon on his mind ? or the strange visitors are
for real ?
Directed by Phillipe Mora (The Howling Part 2 and Part 3, The Beast Within, Mad Dog Morgan) made an effective psychological drama that is occasionally eerie, suspenseful and even darkly humorous. Walken is excellent in the role of the true-life writer. Which Striber claims that the story is true! This independently made film is well acted and keeps your interests for making up for the movie's occasional flaws.
DVD has an good anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1) transfer and an fine digitally remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. DVD has an fascinating commentary track by the director and President of UFO Publishing on UFO Magazine:William J. Birnes. DVD also includes outtakes with commentary by the director, two theatrical trailers and more. "Communion" is truly an flawed film but director Mora and screenwriter Strieber (Based on his Best Selling Novel) keeps you on the edge of your seat. It's more of a mystery psychological drama than an science fiction film but it does works both ways for the viewers.
It was an box office disappointment, the reviews from critics were mixed but it went on to be an Cult Classic on video. This is an intelligent movie that should not be missed and it's Mora's best picture so far. Strong music score by Eric Clapton (Lethal Weapon Series, Homeboy, Rush) and Allan Zavod. Super 35. (****/*****).
Communion is directed by Phillipe Mora and adapted for the screen by
Whitley Strieber from his own book of the same name. It stars
Christopher Walken, Lindsay Crouse and Francis Sternhagen. Theme music
is by Eric Clapton, with the musical score by Allan Zavod. Photography
is by Louis Irving, with locations for filming at Big Bear Valley and
Running Springs in California.
"Based on the true story of one American family"
It continues to be a controversial movie to this very day, its subject matter, that of alien abduction/experiments, one that ensures the most divisive of audiences. Director Mora insists it's a film for those of an open mind, triumphantly proclaiming that he made a deliberately ambiguous and agnostic film against the big studios wishes. The trouble here is not in the subject matter, for it is a fascinating story, true or not, the problem is that the director isn't sure what to do with such material. In his attempt to flip the finger at the big wigs refusing to back his movie, he's made a mess of a picture. At times genuinely creepy, potent even, at others laughable and tacky. Were it not for a powerhouse eccentric performance from Walken, this would not be worthy of further inspection. It also feels like a collage of other sub-genre movies, eschewing the philosophy and scientific theories of Strieber's best selling book, in favour of Walken wielding a shotgun and freaking out under the inevitable hypnosis treatment. Strieber would later claim dissatisfaction with the movie, which while consistent with his own inconsistencies, is quite understandable. Because whether you believe or not, at the core is an intriguing and provocative story, sadly this film, in trying to be smug, loses the plot quite early on. 5/10
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.
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.
*** 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 ***
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.
You have to watch this movie for the pure enjoyment of witnessing
Christopher Walken "do his thing"... The special effects are cheesy at
times, and the wife and child are two of the worst characters and actors
I've ever seen. Honestly, I thought many of the effects worked and the
suspense was skillfully crafted, but the hypnosis scenes were where the
movie began to go downhill. Still, hearing Walken describe the abduction
and even utter the words "rectal probe" was worth the price of admission.
Make a night of it by pairing this movie up with "Brainstorm" another
classic Christopher Walken performance.
7 out of 10
Christopher Walken gives a distractingly bizarre performance in this trippy alien abduction movie. At times, he is bizarre and manic, going from a Dad joke making fuddy dud, to a somewhat menacing dangerous character (such as when he shoots up his home, and receives a muted reaction from his wife). He seems unfocused and indecisive, as he is both convinced of his alien abduction but on the fence about receiving therapy. This kind of day to day indecision may be common in real life, but it is odd to see a character change his mind with each scene in a movie. As in Fire in the Sky, the characters' positive traits are overemphasized so as to make them seem like everyday Americans and not alien abduction kooks. This is somewhat undone by the strange nature of Walken's performance. The director also throws in seeming Easter eggs to cast doubts on the story, throwing in references to alcohol and making the dream sequences ridiculous, campy and trippy. We also know the lead character is a writer, and that this would make a compelling book. At one point, when Walken is journeying to the cabin to perhaps commune with the aliens again, he is passed by a Miller Lite truck. The dream sequences are some of the most bizarre I've seen committed to film. They are trippier than David Lynch, and various camp musicals like The Apple. There are costumed gorilla aliens and dancing slim aliens that invite Walken to an orgy replete with anal probing, all while Walken recites lyrics from The Beatles. This makes it rather hard to believe. I have heard the author feels that the movie was not entirely accurate to his story, but his name is all over it, so he could have exercised greater control. I can only recommend this as a camp film. I will say it is far more entertaining than Fire in the Sky, but the one alien scene we get in Fire in the Sky is more frightening than the alien activity we see here.
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