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Communion
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Reviews & Ratings for
Communion More at IMDbPro »

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

aftermath of a life altering experience

Author: Carson Trent from France
25 January 2007

Whitley suddenly finds himself in an alien world, where once he tells his abduction story, he becomes subject of, strangely enough, his own ridicule, but also public skepticism. When his mind tells him something even his own, never mind outsiders, own logic rejects, he truly finds himself inside an alien nightmare of a reality. But this is the moment he has his "communion", when he changes as a person. The symbolism is powerful in this movie, suggesting that it's not what is obvious, but that there is a hidden meaning behind a life-altering experience.

From a creative point of view, a story like this might be quite appealing, and regarded as extravagant, but how would we cope with somebody claiming to have lived such things? Or more, with our own minds telling us? And how are these things going to affect us? Are they going to derail us from our current paths, change our perception, or are we going to regard them as oddities beyond our grasp and understanding? There is a moment where Whitley says that they are all masks of God, perfectly underlining the fact that the strangest thing can actually be just a bit outside our roam of understanding, but still within some common frame of cosmic alignment. It's up to us weather we accept or reject it.

Much of the movie is Walken's merit, because his performance compensates the lack of elaborate special effects and there are some occasions where his facial expression is enough to make your skin crawl.

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9 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Who dare look behind the mask?

Author: mmaras from Zagreb, Croatia
16 December 1999

This film left a lasting impression on me, which didn't wane during the second and even third viewing. I have never thought about it as an "alien-movie". (Incidentally, the word "aliens" is never once mentioned in the film.) In my opinion, it is a film about the man's reaction to the inexplicable intruding into his orderly existence. It is all about people, not aliens. Each character has their own reaction to the strange. In fact, what we see is a "pilgrim's progress", with Walken fighting against various attempts (by others and by himself) to explain it away. It is a philosophical parable, saying that any explanation would be nothing but a mask over the truth, which cannot be expressed in words. As Walken says: "This cannot be it. I didn't come all this way for you to tell me that this is it."

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

One of Walken's best - an eerie portrayal

7/10
Author: teensyweensy-1 from Australia
31 May 2006

I have read the book and seen the movie and wasn't disappointed by either. I am a Strieber fan so appreciated what risks he took to write this autobiographical novel. It's true the book does have a different feel to the movie. This is mostly due, I believe to, the director Philippe Mora and Christopher Walken's quirky yet memorable acting presence.

This film is very eerie, frightening, surreal and disturbing. It's not a feel-good movie but is definitely thought-provoking, just like the novel.

This is definitely one of Walken's best movies. I was impressed! Also Joel Carlson does a great job as Strieber's son, Andrew. The scenes involving his son and the other dream sequences are perhaps the most disturbing.

I felt empathy for Strieber in Walken's very convincing performance. I felt drawn to the character and his family.

I find myself watching this film every few years and as I do it is more rewarding each time. There are some very memorable lines in this movie that will stay with you long afterwards.

If you like thought-provoking, eerie, movies involving alien abduction then this may be well worth your while.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Wake up, we've got overnight visitors.

6/10
Author: lost-in-limbo from the Mad Hatter's tea party.
3 July 2006

Whitley Strieber is a writer who goes off with his family and couple of friends to his holiday home in the woods. During their first night there they experience a strange sensation involving a blinding light and they all had the same startling experience. Whitley shrugs it off as a dream, but then he starts hallucinating and seeing unearthly figures. Is he going mad or was he abducted? So, he sees a psychiatrist to go under hypnosis to see what really did happen to him.

How strangely surreal can this get! I was simply bug-eyed to what the hell was going on and Christopher Walken's spontaneously intense performance just kept you guessing and totally riveted. The story is supposedly based on true facts and lifted from Whitley Strieber's novel, which also did the screenplay for the film. This touchy subject matter will have a lot of its sceptics, but this piece I found to be an engrossing format that builds an authentically sincere approach to its controversial nature, even despite its very outlandish, quite silly and largely dreamy nature. But anyway, that's surrealism for ya! The story is emotionally moody and that can be attributed a lot Walken's erratic character - who rambles on until the cows come home about whatever he's thinking and cracking out rather humorous jokes. At times I didn't have a clue what he was going on about! But Walken is simply ace in a role that's fits him perfectly.

The first half of the film is actually creepy with its atmospheric lighting, bone rattling sound effects and stinging score. This side of the story is psychologically powering as we watch the realistic deterioration, traumatic stress and the denial of Whitley. When we get our first (and vastly memorable) glimpse of our out-of-town visitors too- it's visually surreal and eerily unnerving. It gave me the shivers! But that very feel changes course in the second half of the film were it becomes uneven and we get a break down on Whitely coming to terms and accepting his fate. But there's one thing that hits you and that this whole joint feels like one large dream with it's change in moods, bizarre hallucinations, blurry intentions and that you'll forget about large chunks of it after experiencing it. Yeah, it's rather forgettable with only a couple of scenes that stick with you and that's basically the whack-out sequences. I don't know, but I was expecting a little more to come out of the layout and it does clock off with some meandering scenes, but if Walken was on screen it was hard not to be compelled. The script can get a bit self-indulgent and distant, while the sweeping guitar riffs are terribly dated. Although it's a low-budgeted flick the special effects are well implemented and the rubbery alien designs are adeptly crafted. Philippe Mora who brought us such films like "The Howling 2 and 3" adds his distinguishable style and generates some extremely haunting and effective build-ups. His confidence in the production and that in Walken makes his direction one of the film's standing assets. The rest of the cast pale in comparison to Walken, but Lindsey Crouse as Whitley's on-edge wife and Frances Sternhagen as Dr. Janet Duffy work off him greatly. I got to say that the best time to watch this one - is late night… I guarantee.

It's not totally successful, but it's an interestingly odd project with capable direction by Mora and a sensational central performance from Walken.

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10 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Freaking me out with those big, black eyes!

7/10
Author: Piper-10 from Lincoln, Maine, USA
17 February 1999

This movie remains one of Walken's best performances to date. Forget "Deer Hunter", he is one of two things that carry this film. It's him and the aliens, and that's it, but what a great film, anyway. The X-Files, though a good show, never quite reaches the level of freakiness that "Communion" has in moments like those in which Walken confronts the aliens. At one point, he states upon waking up to a suspected abduction that, "I don't want to think about that so, I go back to bed." There are so many classic lines of dialogue between Walken and the aliens that the movie reaches a point where it seems almost like a bizarre, personal delusion--portrait of a madman rather than alien abductions.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Had potential, but misfires pretty badly

4/10
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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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Did you all see the same movie I did?

3/10
Author: tomshear from You mama
12 August 2001

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.

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

weird but scary

Author: jasonwtx (jason@flash.net) from Austin, Texas
14 June 2003

I guess different things haunt different people. This movie absolutely terrifies me. First off... I don't believe in aliens. That being said, the scene with the alien looking around the wall of Walken's house has been burned into my retina and I will never forget it. Nothing has kept me up at night like that since "The Excorcist."

Sure - there is bad stuff in this film, and Walken's character is almost too eccentric to take. But if you want a sit-alone-in-the-dark film that isn't Hollywood or hack/slash and will scare the snot out of you, give it a try.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Not very good

5/10
Author: zetes from Saint Paul, MN
30 October 2013

Christopher Walken gets an anal probe in this alien abduction movie. This movie (and the original book) is actually the origin of that bit of alien lore. The film is not that good. It kind of has the opposite problem of Fire in the Sky. There are a lot of scenes with the aliens, but they're quite poorly done. The aliens look like crap. The big skinny ones (the grays) look like balloons (like Fire in the Sky, it's suggested that these are actually aliens wearing space suits) and the short, stumpy ones look like rejected costumes from a Star Wars rip-off (one of them always has its lips pursed, because, you know, that's the way the animatronic mask was made). The alien scene at the end also gets pretty silly, with the aliens dancing with Walken and high fiving him. Walken himself is pretty good. Definitely Walken at his hammiest, but I think the film would have been unbearably boring if he hadn't gone that way.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Night Visitors

8/10
Author: sol1218 from brooklyn NY
26 December 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

***SPOILERS*** Based on the "true story" best selling book of the same name "Communion" has to do with the Strieber family in general and Whitley Strieber, Christopher Walken,in particular. Strieber claims to have been both contacted and abducted by aliens from outer space who have been conducting experiments with his genetic code or makeup since he was a little boy back in Texas! This all came back to Streiber after his latest abduction at his cabin in upstate New York in October 1985 when he was straying there with his wife Anne, Lindsay Crouse, ten year old son Andrews, Joel Carlson, and two friends Alex & Sarah, Andreas Katsulas & Terri Hanauer.

Coming back home to New York City Streiber starts getting nightmares about his encounter in upstate New York and slowly starts to lose it. Thinking that he's going insane Streiber with his wife Anne insistence goes to see shrink or psychiatrist Dr.Janet Duffy, Frances Sternhagen, who deals with the kinds of mental problems that Strieber is now going through. It's when he learns that what he went through is very common among people who claim to be victims of alien abductions that Strieber really starts to freak out! It's then that all of Strieber's suppressed memories of his being abducted over the years by aliens from outer space starts to resurfaces in his by now very troubled mind. And with that Strieber instead of running away from them starts to confront his kidnappers and with that slowly learns the real reasons for their actions which is, if true, nothing short of mind boggling to say the least!

The movie based on Whitley Striebers book and screenplay has developed over the years a large cult following among the UFO and alien abduction community. Strieber himself is fully convinced that he as well as thousands of other "alien abductees" are having their DNA material manipulated by aliens who are incapable of reproduction on their own! The aliens are using Streiber and other selected abductee's DNA material to create a hybrid race by somehow interbreeding with human beings, through artificial insemination, in order to keep them from dying out. If this is true the human race has no control of its own destiny or future and in fact may have been artificially created by the aliens themselves just to save them from becoming extinct. True or not the movie as well as book makes interesting reading as well as watching.

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