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Reviews & Ratings for
Communion More at IMDbPro »

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Had potential, but misfires pretty badly

Author: Samiam3 from Canada
22 September 2009

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.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

above average WARNING!!!!!!!! SPOILERS!!!!!!

Author: callanvass
20 July 2004

*** 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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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Scary, but then funny, at the same time!!!

Author: zerodegreesk from Akron, Ohio, USA
20 February 2002

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

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Communion left me immensly disturbed and profoundly changed.

Author: Heath Smith ( from Australia
30 March 1999

I saw this movie when I was a kid. Only two movies have images and scenes that will stay with me forever. One is 'Saving Private Ryan' which I was devastated by just last year in my 20's, an the other is 'Communion'.

Telling people to see this film just doesn't work, it really is something you have to discover yourself. Also seems like one of those films you either 'get' or 'dont'. I've had two types of reactions from friends/people I've told to see this film:

1. What a hokey piece of rubbish, etc...


2. Why did you make me watch that? I can't sleep now.

I'm became a complete Walken fan after this movie (my first Walken experience if you will), and I won't reiterate the already spot-on comments. The kid in the film is incredibly amazing and real too, however Lindsay Crouse lets Walken influence her too much (starts doing a Walken at one point). Only failing of the film.

So many classic lines...

Well, look, the thing is, if you're reading this trying to figure out whether or not to hire this video, I have these words of advice. You'll either hate it, or...

I've seen 'Fire in the Sky', I've watched and been a fan of 'The X-Files' since the beginning, I've seen that Roswell movie with Kyle MacLauchlan, and that TV special 'Intruders'... none of them have been able to do what Communion did. I've never been abducted by aliens, and I hope to God I never am, but god damn 'Communion' is the only movie I have ever seen that has absolutely captured the primal fear, freaky mind-bending bizareness, and profoundly life changing aspects of what one of those experiences might possibly be like. Those aliens are the single most evil special effects I've ever seen, with their black eyes. And as you just begin to laugh slightly and think Walken is freaker than them, the mood just -turns- sickeningly... ok, I've said enough.

Watch it alone, with the lights out, very late at night, and it may very well change your life.

My vote for the most underrated film of all time. Definitely one of the most disturbing, and I'll never, ever look at the corner of my cupboard in my bedroom at night the same way again. :)

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Christopher Walken dancing with aliens

Author: DogFilmCritic from United States
23 November 2015

This movie is just insane...

I don't know were to start, its supposed to be about alien abduction but it goes beyond to weird territory, i honestly saw Chistopher Walken become Tommy Wissau in some scenes, it is so surreal you think your watching a comedy when its supposed to be science fiction, i don't know what was in the directors mind when he mixed aliens and Christopher Walken, we get one of the most insane movies ever made i don't know if to compare it with Brazil or Eraser head.

Its not bad or good its in a rating limbo, you have to see it for yourself to believe what your watching and trying to make sense of it, its entertaining specially if you like strange premises, i honestly would say give it a watch and judge it for the craziness that it is

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Worthwhile for camp value

Author: Sean H-. (cornflakeboy20) from United States
17 December 2013

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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Unsettling and silly

Author: regnarghost
8 May 2009

Nice attempt this. What seems to be a honest take on a probably manufactured story concerning aliens, or just supernatural creatures(don't remember really seeing a UFO), and its impact on a family's life. part horror, part drama.

How unsettling it is relies entirely on how you feel about aliens and abduction. The subject matter terrifies me, and therefore, it had me incredible uncomfortable during the first visit of the aliens. Its such a pleasure to see Cristopher Walker here, sitting around in different positions with clinched jaws. The director makes a tremendous job at presenting the abduction as a metaphysical and psychological collapse that clearly wont be remembered by the ones involved. Creepy.

As the film progresses some of this "visitors" turn out to look a bit like hooded Ewokds and it brings the experience down. Actually its quite interesting. These creatures are not as frightening as the grays, but logically, they are really not more unrealistic and silly. It kinda highlights how ridiculous this whole fear we have are. But for some (read the Paralysed Sleep thread on the board here) they might be very frightening.

Its still a pretty interesting film. The effects has aged well.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Is that someone there?

Author: Spikeopath from United Kingdom
25 May 2011

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

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

a long list of turkeys

Author: Raghavibaggy-Drawers from Islamabad
27 May 2010

So now that Christopher Walken is a star, let's see if we can dig up any old tapes and market them. This is a series of ancient, poor quality copies of Mr. Walken's earliest work. You'll find only the slightest hints of the whimsy and slapstick which defines a later-day "Christopher Walken" film. Communion is devoid of dialogue or context: was there any evolution of style or experience? What were the production dates? Will these actors appear again in later films? You might wonder, and after that throw it in the bin. And you'll never know.

Truly disappointing.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Christopher Walken is... fill in the blank if you please

Author: MisterWhiplash from United States
1 May 2010

I don't think Communion would work nearly as well, in its own sort of warped-entertaining way, without Christopher Walken. Its budget would appear to be pretty low despite the pyrotechnics and veneer of effects; watch those scenes with the aliens, as weirdly cute and obviously fake as they are, for proof of that. And other actors around him, including Lindsay Crouse as the main character's wife and their son Andrew (Joel Carson), don't impress much except in their rigid one-dimensional parts, she as the shrill wife, he the precocious/scared kid.

So it falls on Walken to steal the show, and really, how could he not with this? Another actor might play Whitley Streiber- named after the author and supposedly based on the author's actual experiences with aliens- with a straight face, maybe like Richard Drefuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, a down-to-earth father and husband who is good to his kid (more or less) and loves his wife and has wisecracks and an original sensibility as a novelist to spare. But Walken, when he walks in (see what I did there), does his own thing with his unique, sometimes awkward and hilarious vocal inflections, and a way of looking at things that can be over the top as dead-pan, if that makes sense.

Actually, to give a better example of what Walken can do here better than anyone, watch the scenes where he reacts first to the blazing lights of the alien ships (a kind of detached amusement, some interest when his son screams, and even a smirk of "hah, you don't amuse, me" to the aliens when they arrive). Then, when he's on the ship, oh boy: this is when we get to the bizarre stuff, as Walken talks to the camera ("I am me, I am here, we are all together" like in I Am the Walrus or something), or sits back reading a magazine, or has an ambiguous response to the aliens advances with shaking hands. Probing him, of course, turns out to be another matter, albeit we see this all when Whitley is under hypnosis.

So a lot of this, plus some random scenes where we see Whitley's writing process writing under different characters and voices on a monitor, or those hypnosis scenes (or a classic scene where he sees everyone on a bus as a giant bug - Walken in the midst of sci-fi comedy Kafka), makes for some classic Christopher Walken bits. Hell, the guy even dances from time to time! This and a few creative touches as director from Philippe Mora help make this a kind of guilty pleasure. I can't recommend it the same way I could Close Encounters, since that one genuinely inspires and awes and gives great performances and music. This one has Eric Clapton on an off-day, low-rent alien fx and lighting cues, and it just kind of... ends really, on a note that should have been a few minutes before. But if you love Walken being "Walken", and want some cheesy alien-abduction sci-fi, you can surely look here for the goods - certainly it's a big step up from a more recent self-serious "true story" alien movie, The Fourth Kind.

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