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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.
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,
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A family (and another couple) spend a night at their country house,
where they all get spooked by unknown night-time events. Back for
Christmas and more spookiness ensues for the family; especially for
husband and father Whitley (Christopher Walken's character) ... what
could be going on?
If you saw the cover art you already have a pretty clear idea about what this film is about, but it takes its excruciating time to get to the lacklustre punchline.
After undergoing hypnotherapy and sitting in on a support group for probing victims, Whitelty finds a way to high-five the aliens and turn the experience from sinister to light-hearted.
Christopher Walken tries so very hard to be this lovable zany hipster, but his performance ends up as irretrievably irritating. He gets even more grating as slowly, slowly the audience is let in on the old ET probe story.
Walken comes across as a demented Groucho Marx, but the real comedy starts with the woeful special effects.
Bright lights are about as good as the special effects get. The phallic 'probe' that slides through the wall is almost hilarious, and the "aliens" were so fake-looking it is very hard to take them seriously.
Overall the film comes off as an amateur production, and I'd advise anyone to avoid it like the plague ... unless you want to laugh out loud at the pathetic "aliens" or the massive phallic probe.
Whitley Strieber (the main character) was apparently trying to write the "great American novel" as these events unfurled. Funny that. I just don't buy his formulaic story or this lame duck of a movie. Avoid both.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
To me Communion was a disappointment. I expected more of a Christopher Walken film, although all great actors have made lesser films. When I saw a clip of the film I thought it would be really scary but only parts of it were. It starts out well but the second time he meets the aliens it just starts to get funny. Ther'e not scary or even believable as abductors. They look like cheap little blue copies of Jabba The Hutt! The ''greys'' in the movie were scary but later on you only get funny looking orange versions of them. I like Christopher Walken as an actor but this is definitely his worst picture. They only thing good about it was the little boys acting he was great and at such a young age. A well deserved award
I saw this in original release and recently viewed it again with a friend who'd never seen it. What I remembered about the film was obvious in seeing it again. This is the most bizarre performance Christopher Walken has ever given on screen. It's as though he personally finds the story insanely funny (and for many, Streiber's visitors in the night schtick is a joke), and he seems to be winking at the audience and barely restraining himself from rolling his eyes. Whether or not this movie works for you depends almost solely on whether you buy into Streiber's personal alien abduction mythology. I don't. Alien abduction may be an open question, but I see Streiber as an opportunistic huckster. So for me the film is third-rate sci fi. It's a little spooky in the beginning, but as it unfolds you'll understand why Walken seems to be laughing at a private joke all the way through the movie.
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