Fire in the Sky (1993) Poster

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7/10
Disturbing Alien Film
gavin69422 November 2015
An Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.

For most of the film, we get more or less a drama. We know the logger has been abducted, but the authorities do not necessarily believe the other loggers. So there is some struggle, some argument, some emotional tension. Nothing too science fiction. And, indeed, they could have made the film completely without any of the science fiction if they wanted to.

But no, we also get a glimpse of where the logger went... and it is pretty wild. The film would be good either way, but those who like alien films will appreciate the effects and design that went into this. Definitely an understated modern classic.
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7/10
Well worth watching.
deloudelouvain16 July 2020
Fire In the Sky didn't get much attention when it came out, I never heard of it before watching it twenty-seven years later, and to be honest this movie deserves a chance. If you like alien abduction movies this one is certainly worth a watch, with a couple good scenes that will get your full attention as there is some good suspense and tension building. The story, based on true events (not everybody will believe this story) is well written and filmed. It's entertaining to watch certainly if you're into this kind of stuff. The cast did a good job playing their respective characters, they all gave a believable performance. I'm surprised I never heard of this movie before as I watch tons of movies, especially in this genre. Give this one a shot, you won't regret it.
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Still the best alien abduction movie
tieman645 March 2008
Warning: Spoilers
A group of lumberjacks go out into the woods. A UFO appears. They run away. One man (Travis Walton) is left behind. He is sucked up into the UFO. His friends inform the police, who later comb the woods. They find no trace of Travis. Travis' friends and family grow worried. The police accuse the lumberjacks of murdering Travis. They deny it. They take lie detector tests. They pass.

Several days later, a visibly traumatised Travis appears at the edge of town. He is taken home. He recounts the story of his abduction. The film ends with a 20 minute set piece in which Travis is abducted by aliens, wanders about their space craft and is subjected to torture.

"Fire in the Sky" is a pretty simple movie. It's quiet and unassuming and apparently based on a true story. Indeed, for its first hour, "Fire" unfolds like a fairly low-key "X-Files" episode, content to capitalise on the "UFO" and "gray alien" craze of the late 1980s.

Interesting, the tone of the film then completely changes during its last twenty minutes. Here, during an extended set piece, we watch as Travis is captured and abused by a group of sadistic, monstrous aliens. It's shocking sequence, not so much because it's graphic, but because it's a complete contrast to everything we've seen before. The film goes from a quiet, low budget character study, to big budget SFX horror flick in the blink of an eye.

Of course this is a calculated move designed to add some spectacle and titillation to what would otherwise have been a dull film. But the scene nevertheless resonates thanks to actor D. B. Sweeny's sympathetic performance as Travis, and thanks to some stunning (especially for a film made in 1993) SFX work.

Incidentally, this final act set piece was conceived and designed by the same SFX team behind the Matrix movies. "Fire's" wire-work, alien cocoons and gooey hibernation sacks would be reused a decade later in the first 2 Matrix films.

8/10 - A quiet and well acted exploitation film, made memorable by a single great set piece. As far as alien abduction movies go, it's better than Christopher Walken's "Communion". Both films are inspired by the Whitley Strieber and Bob Hoskin alien books of the mid 80s.
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7/10
Surprisingly good
siderite9 February 2006
This movie has a good plot, a good cast and a good feel to it. It is obviously a low budget movie, but one done well. The story is about an alien abduction, but instead of focusing on the aliens and what they did, the focus is on the people involved and how do they react "under fire".

You can call it a "TV psychological thriller" more than a sci-fi. I expected something dumb, instead I found not a masterpiece, but a good movie, one that was worth the watch.

James Garner had a really weird role, but he is old, so he gets what they throw at him; Robert Patrick does a good role and, even if he did play in some silly movies in his time, I think he is a good actor, one that can surprise if properly cast.
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8/10
Terrifying Climax
ReelCheese12 June 2006
A terrifying climax highlights this portrayal of the alleged 1975 alien abduction of logger Travis Walton. Walton and fellow loggers were driving one night when, the story goes, they spotted a mysterious spacecraft hovering over head. When Walton is beamed aboard and declared missing for several days, nobody believes his friends, providing an interesting angle on the story. This element of the film is particularly effective in building up suspense. Where is Walton and what did he experience? A cast that includes D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick and Henry Thomas (Elliot from E.T.) deliver quality performances. It doesn't have the look or feel of a blockbuster (it wasn't one), but this is a classic example of an overlooked gem.
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6/10
Fantastic story based allegedly on facts in which some loggers find an extraterrestrial aircraft
ma-cortes6 October 2010
Adapted from best-selling book which the author claims is true and eschews his opinion about the strange events , starting with a phrase by prestigious Roman writer named Seneca . Sci-fi thriller with various famous actors (Robert Patrick, D,B. Sweeney, Henry Thomas, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg) as loggers return from the woods claiming one of them has been abducted by aliens . At location of Snowflake , Arizona , a skeptic detective (James Garner) and a sheriff (Noble Willingham) have doubts , believing the story is a cover for a killing . Meanwhile the missing for five days wakes up to the first meeting with non-human creatures and they whisk him off inside their rare aircraft and subject him to painful ,rigorous examination . The loggers' behavior becomes more erratic and more frequent suspicious , then they agree to undergo detector sessions which reveal the truth by his conscious mind . Later on ,the missing turns up completely nude and thrown into confusion , causing incredible impact on mass media and yet he subsequently barely remembers nothing .

This exciting picture supposedly based on fact from Travis Walton's book titled ¨The Walton experience¨, in which Travis was allegedly taken prisoner by weird extraterrestrials . Engrossing movie contains thrills , suspense, a pretty interesting drama that treads the similar ground as ¨X files¨ . Excellent imagery with magnificent FX in which the starring is taken away by aliens from outer space and practice scientific experiments about the integrity of his body in which orifices are penetrated and finds himself surrounded by muddy interiors and ooze . The frightening though modest story follows the same ink as ¨Communion (1989) ¨ by Philippe Mora , though is better realized and has a more correct pay-off . A bit overlong and the dramatic scenes between Robert Patrick and his wife Kathleen Wilhoite don't work but the story is still effectively scary while never gratuitously gory . It packs a colorful cinematography by Bill Pope : Matrix , and thrilling musical score by Mark Isham . This Scifi outing is satisfyingly directed by Robert Lieberman . He's a professional filmmaker of TV episodes as ¨Eureka, Shark ,Dexter , Invasion¨ and occasionally for cinema like this one . Rating : 6,5 , good film that provides an enjoyable build-up . Better than average , worthwhile seeing .
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8/10
A 'real' X-file
bowmanblue3 December 2014
How many times have you seen the words, 'Based on a true story,' at the beginning of a Hollywood film? Normally, when that's written, what you see on screen is about as far away to what actually happened as you can possibly get. However, 'Fire in the Sky' is almost quite close to what really happened (obviously, if you believe what the story is all about).

Travis Walton was a logging worker in 1975 who, while up in the mountains, was abducted by a flying saucer right before his co-workers' eyes. This is the account of what happened. One criticism is that it heavily favours the account of Walton and his co-workers, over those sceptical of their fantastical claim. However, when you think about it, Fire in the Sky would have been a pretty dull film if all that happened was Travis decided to hide in the woods for a few days while his mates made up crazy stories about what they've seen.

This is a great film - kind of like a 'real life' episode of the X-files. And, you can enjoy it on two levels: if you're a 'Mulder' and believe in aliens, UFOs etc, you can look at it as a documented account of what actually happened. However, if you're a 'Scully' (i.e. a sceptic) then you should be able to enjoy it by simply seeing it as a good piece of dramatic science-fiction.

Either way, if you're into sci-fi or drama, you should quite enjoy it. It's also worth looking into further - the real Travis Walton wrote quite a comprehensive book on the subject matter and there's plenty of 'evidence' to back up his claims if you do some research on the internet.
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Try this if you like UFO movies.
andy-22727 January 1999
"Fire in the Sky" can be appreciated only if you are into UFO movies, and if you like scary alien abduction scenes. The film is based on the allegedly true story of Travis Walton's alien abduction. After seeing the film, and becoming extremely interested in the subject, I read the book by Travis. Reading it, I found out that the abduction scene was changed in the movie. Whether what happened in the book was real or not, the change in the film was good, because those ten minutes of abduction scene are, quite possibly, among the most frightening pieces of footage in film history! I couldn't go to sleep for a month after that. It was tough to deal with. I recommend it because I know that there are some of you out there who like UFOs, and like a good scare!
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7/10
A fairly good film with some issues
mindcat14 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this flick on the big screen in 1993. Since I am curious about such events and basically a skeptic with an open mind, the film appealed.

However certain parts were added that were not in the Travis Walton recollection of his experience. For example dead and dismembered humans inside the space craft is absolute fear mongering. It was not reported by Walton.

Now, better than 16 year after the film and more than 30 after the event, this case remains bizarre and unexplained. Not one of the young loggers in more than 30 years, despite cash dangled, has come forward to declare it was a hoax.

U-tube has a 1970's interview with Walton and Rodgers and they look like boys in this clip. Both maintain they saw what they did and I am amazed how articulate both of these youngmen are. We need consider neither were highly educated.

There have been accusations for lies for cash and the fiasco with the National Inquier, but to this day there is no solid evidence or human testimony to discredit Walton and Rodger's story.

In UFOLOGY this is indeed a stumper, unless you're like Phil Klass, who just knows such things could not happen so it must all be conspiracy.
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5/10
The 10 minutes of alien abduction stuff is great, the rest, not so much
zetes30 October 2013
The centerpiece of this movie, the ten to fifteen minutes of Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) inside the UFO, is so fantastic that it's a crushing disappointment that the rest of the film is completely worthless. Most of the film is made up of endless scenes of the other five guys who were in Walton's logging crew either bitching at each other or loudly declaring their innocence. Who cares about these guys? But, seriously, how friggin' horrifying is that sequence with the aliens? Gorgeously shot and directed, with great art direction and excellent special effects and puppetry. Robert Patrick and James Garner also co-star, but don't really need to be there at all.
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7/10
Convincing story proving that aliens do exist.
baumer20 August 1999
This movie is a true eye opener. I remember seeing it with a few friends and we all had the same reaction to it. Especially in the scene where the guy is used in an experimental manner by the aliens. We were all scared and appalled. Could you imagine? We all wondered and winced at the mere thought of being used as an experiment, how awful and painful and traumatic an experience that would be. But take a closer look and when your eyes are opened, what you may see is like looking into a blurred reflection in a mirror. And the question has to be asked. What would we do if the same situation occurred here on Earth. What if we found an alien stranded here, or better yet what if we kidnapped one? Would we let it live a normal peaceful life? Or would we put it under the knife and do DNA testing, take blood samples, urine samples, semen samples? Would we do every possible experiment to this creature as we possibly could? You're damn right we would! And perhaps that wasn't the films intention ( to draw parallels to us and them ) but then again maybe it was. The problem though is that we only see what we want to see. But really, what separates us from them? Our humanity? HA! What is humanity? It is being human, and sometimes that can be more disgusting than being alien. We don't know their intentions or motivations, but we do know ours and that makes us inhumane for doing some of what we do.

Fire In The Sky is a frightening movie. It is a frightening thought that this could happen to us, and it is disturbing to think that this may have happened to some people already. I had clouded thoughts and opinions about aliens before seeing this film. But after the movie I was compelled to do my own research about apparent alien abductions and such. And there is a lot of material that supports what this film has to say. And that makes it intriguing. If you are curious about aliens the way I was after this film, then spend some time on the net and look up some stuff, you'll be surprised, but back to the film.

D.B. Sweeney did a great job especially when he had to show fear. He makes you feel that he was there and when you look into his eyes, you can feel his fear. And that was one of the great parts of the film. The actors from Peter Berg to Henry Thomas ( Elliot from E.T. ) do a credible job portraying his confused and interrogated-one-to-many-times friends. But what the real strength of the film is, is the story. It makes you open your eyes and ask some tough questions. The story seems plausible, the boys passed every lie detector test, and there is no proof to say that they were lying. So where does that leave you, the viewer? It sealed my opinion on the subject. And on that level it is a great film.

The only complaint I have with the film is that it seemed to end too abruptly. There were so many questions I had that I wanted answered, but they just stopped. And that left me frustrated. I'm not sure if they did that on purpose or if was unintentional, but it left me yearning for more. But that is the only glitch I had with the film. If nothing else, it does make you question life. And any film that can pose moral questions to me and not have me lose interest in the process has accomplished something.

Do aliens exist? I think so. Watch this film and perhaps decide for yourself.
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8/10
Interesting Story Around Reportedly Real Events
Reviews_of_the_Dead6 July 2019
This was a film that I remember seeing thanks to my mother. She read the book and then saw the movie. I'll be honest, I remember parts of it, but it was definitely a long time ago, so I was interested in checking this one out again. The synopsis is an Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.

We jump into this with a truck speeding down a dirt road. It comes out to a paved road and almost gets into a car accident. The men inside are freaked out and they stop at a local bar. The men go inside and the local sheriff Blake Davis (Nobel Willingham) watches them. The group is Mike Rogers (Robert Patrick), Allan Dallis (Craig Sheffer), David Whitlock (Peter Berg), Greg Hayes (Henry Thomas) and Bobby Cogdill (Bradley Gregg). They're shook over something and they elect their boss, Mike to make a call.

This brings Frank Watters (James Garner). He's a famous investigator and has no unsolved cases. Blake meets him when he arrives and fills him in a little bit about what happened, but wants him to get it from the source. He goes inside and puts a tape recorder down. He wants the men to recap what happened.

We then shift back to the events that got us here. We see Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) as he makes his way to Mike's house. He is a bit of a free spirit and doesn't really follow the rules. Mike is married to Katie (Katheleen Wilhoite) and they're struggling at the moment. They're behind on their mortgage and Mike's logging team is behind on the contract they signed to fulfill. Travis is a member of that crew along the guys we saw earlier. Travis is also seeing Mike's younger sister, Dana (Georgia Emelin). They head off and pick up the rest of the crew in Mike's struggling truck.

At work we see that Travis and Allan don't really get along. They all kind of seem to get on each other's nerves a bit. Travis and Mike are best friends though. On their way home that night, they see a light in the sky. It kind of looks like fire and it is in the path they have to go. They stop when they get close and it's a UFO. Travis gets out of the truck to get a better look and he's engulf in a blue/green light. It picks up him and throws him. The men still in the truck panic and drive off. Mike finally calms down and goes back to get Travis. The problem is that he's missing. That leads to the men going to the bar.

Frank and Blake think they actually did something to Travis. There's an investigation that involves a search party as well as polygraphs. This becomes quite the news story for those who think it could be aliens or that there could be foul play. Dan Walton (Scott MacDonald) thinks that Allan did something to his brother. Things all change though when Travis shows up 5 days later. At first he doesn't know what happened and is very quiet. He does start to remember though of the nightmarish things he claimed happened to him when he was gone.

I really have to say that this is very interesting. It is based on the book that the real Travis wrote about his ordeal. Now I'm going to say this. I do believe in aliens. I don't believe in organized religion and think that if there is life on this planet, there has to be life on other ones. Do I necessarily think they've come to Earth? Probably not. I will say though, I do believe that Travis really thinks this happened to him.

With that out of the way, what I really like about this film is that we see the UFO. So we know the events they think happened. What I really like though is the investigation aspect of the film. The logic is with the townspeople and Frank in that it is fantastical to think that this really happened. I can't blame them, because I probably would be right there with them. It is hard though to not believe that something wild happened to Travis when he shows up 5 days later.

What I also really enjoy about this film is how Travis starts to remember what happened. There's a great bit of editing where Travis is wheeled down a hospital corridor and it is meshing up with what happened to him while he was in the custody of aliens. It is quite nightmarish with the tests that they are doing to him as well. The look of them is interesting as well, but they are definitely of the Greys variety. It is stating that the look we see used on all type of merchandise is actually a spacesuit and they're somewhat humanoid. I like that it never really explores why they did what they did, but we see this has happened to a quite of a bit of people.

I've somewhat touched on the editing, but I do think that the pacing overall is good. The film runs about 109 minutes. I think that we move through the different aspects of the film at a good clip, building tension along the way. We jump right into it and then we are building the tension trying to figure out what happened to Travis. There is the aspect that it could actually be a logical explanation and when he shows back up, there is trying to prove what really happened. The ending is kind of uplifting and I didn't mind it. Seeing the outcome of how these events affected the lives of them was good.

The strongest part of the film would have to be the acting. Sweeney is great in his role. I love we get to see his personality before him disappearing and then seeing after the fact is night and day. We also get to see him down the road as well as he tries to transition back. Patrick is really good here as well. I would actually say he is the lead as it follows him for the most part. Sheffer, Berg, Thomas and Gregg are also solid as the guys trying to deal with what happened around them. I also like the rest of the performances. They do round out the film for what is needed.

Next I'll go over the effects of the film, which there aren't a ton of them. What we do get is mostly practical and I think they hold up really well. I was trying to figure out the aliens we see are humans in suits, but I think they're actually puppets. They do move and act in a realistic way. There is probably a bit of computer effects, but they're really there to just enhance. I thought they worked well. The film is also shot well in my opinion.

Now with that said, this film is an interesting event that is reportedly based on a true story. I like the idea that there could be life out there and that it could be experimenting on the human race to learn more. It is a terrifying thing that could be happening and there's also fear here of being convicted of a crime you might not have committed for Travis' friends. I don't necessarily think that the events of the film really happened, but I believe they do. The acting really carries this film. Effects are pretty solid even though there aren't a lot of them. There's a combination of practical and computer what I could tell. The soundtrack really didn't stand out, but it also didn't hurt the film. It did stand out when they were getting close to the UFO and it was affecting their radio. Overall I'd say this is a good film. If you like aliens, I'd recommend giving this is a viewing as it is a realistic look at abductions for sure.
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7/10
Kinda mediocre and then kinda scared the crap out of me
juneebuggy10 November 2015
This was kinda mediocre and then kinda scared the crap out of me. One of those "based on true events" believe it or not stories right up there for fans of the X-files. It takes place in 1975 and follows a group of forestry workers returning from a day of logging in the woods who come across a huge bright light in the night sky. It appears to be a fire, they stop to investigate, one of the guys gets out to take a closer look and is "killed" by a beam of light from what is a flying saucer.

The men take off back to town where the authorities treat their story with scepticism, believing that they are covering up the (now missing) mans murder. For the next five days, the town ridicules them, the media arrives, the police have them take lie detector tests and then Travis returns. At first he remembers nothing about his abduction then the terrible memories come back...

A genuinely scary movie with a decent cast which includes James garner in a sheriff type role and a young and very good looking Robert Patrick. Its well acted particularly by D.B. Sweeney who plays Travis Walton. His abduction (torture) scenes onboard the spaceship are freaky, freaky but what scared me most about him was when he first returns; naked and cut up, trying to hide and screaming whenever someone touched him. What happened? 10/31/15
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8/10
Very Scary
fallout9228 March 2005
After I watched this movie I took into perspective that aliens are freaking Scary. This movie probably has the best Alien abduction that I have ever seen.The aliens research on the man that got abducted was petrifying and the aliens themselves looked as scary as heck. I think this movie is Very underrated and should be seen by every true alien believer or anyone that is in for a good scare, besides after you see the movie i'm almost positive you will believe in them anyway. I think this movie is just as good as any alien movie i've ever seen and is sure as heck scarier.I definitely recommend this movie and if you like scary movies this is a must see.
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10/10
Very scary, important metaphor
soulspitter6662 December 2009
Not much to say about this one, i really really liked it. The hour and a half prior to the money shot scene was worth the wait. I agree that this would be the best X-files episode ever if it were added to the series with Scully and Molder doing the investigating instead of the sheriff.

I didn't read all the comments but if mine proves useful at all, i have to say, the entire abduction scene was an accident. The writer and director were pressured by the studio to put it in. It's beyond me why they didn't want one at all. Tracy Thorne concocted the whole thing to have a message that went deeper than aliens. It goes a little something like "how would you feel if you were taken from your comfortable lifestyle with your own species and subjected to cruel experiments with no way of reasoning with your captors, being humiliated and borderline raped with no reason of why" sound a little like when you used a magnifying glass on a random ant? or like the experiments done to animals for research? if we cant co-exist with our planets own damn creatures than where's the logic in wondering about aliens? District 9 is a little less vague, but still a good example of human ignorance.

Best abduction movie to date! very scary, with a good message.
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10/10
Best Abduction movie ever made!
skycaptain93723 August 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing the film when it was released, and I have screened it at home several times over the years since then. My reaction is still the same as my initial one...this is the best UFO abduction film ever made, in my humble opinion.

I am not going to review the film here or dissect its plot, but I am going to comment on the concerns so many others have stated in their "reviews." I will say, however, the script, casting, acting, art direction, and fx's are all first rate.

FIRE IN THE SKY is a film adaptation of a book....I repeat, ADAPTATION. That means it is taking elements of the original source material and adapting them for the screen. It does not mean that it is going to be a word for word recreation of the source material.

I don't understand everyone that gets so bent out of shape because the movie does not follow the book exactly. It doesn't have to, nor should it. In order for it to qualify as a film "based on a true story" it only has to follow the basic events it covers. The film does that.

And to those that complain the film spends too much screen time telling the story of what Mr. Rogers and the other crew members were subjected to while Mr. Walton was missing is ridiculous to me. THAT is the main story the film is telling. But if that is "boring" to some, then just watch the last 10 minutes of the movie and call it a night. Trust me, however, you will want to sleep with the lights on.

I was living in Arizona at the time Mr. Walton vanished. It was on the local news all the time, and the events are still fresh in my mind. Whenever I screen the film I am transported back to the mid 70's and the entire event. The film more than does its job re-creating what the media climate was like during the event, and the "drama" surrounding those 'suspected' of covering something up.

Personally, I believe Mr. Walton believes what happened to him is real. That to me is the true definition of "based on a true story." It does not bother me at all that the film altered his true description of what he says happened aboard the ship. The film was created for entertainment purposes....this film is entertaining and disturbing and emotionally very powerful. I will never forget the impact the real event had on me when I was living in Arizona at the time, nor will I forget the impact this film had on me the first time I saw it.
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6/10
Better than expected...
paul_haakonsen21 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I found "Fire in the Sky" in a secondhand DVD store and read the synopsis on the back of the cover and found the concept interesting, so I gave it a chance. And at a meager price of $2 it just wasn't a costly purchase.

Now having seen the movie, I will say that I was genuinely entertained, though I could have wished for more screen time with the aliens. But aside from that, then "Fire in the Sky" builds up a great story that progress nicely and director Robert Lieberman managed to put together a movie that keeps the audience at the edges of their seats.

The story is about a group of six contractors who all witness a strange phenomena deep in the woods. And when one of them exits the truck to investigate, the event turns into a nightmare as he is battered by an unseen force. Believing their friend dead, the five remaining men flee the scene, only to return to find their friend's body missing. As the story is exposed, the town and police investigators believe this to be an elaborate hoax to cover up the murder of the sixth missing man.

There is a good sense of panic, dread and frustration throughout the movie, which really helps the movie along quite nicely.

The scenes with the aliens and aboard the spacecraft were actually thrilling and quite nicely executed. I particularly enjoyed the take on the "grey" actually being a space suit. That was jut a stroke of genius.

"Fire in the Sky" is a good and entertaining movie, and it is well-worth spending about an hour and forty minutes on.
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10/10
One Of The Most Intense Alien Encounter Scenes Ever Filmed!
Manfonse19 March 2004
This Movie is by far one of the best Alien Abduction movies you will ever see. The story is about of a group of loggers, when on there way home from a hard days work in the white mountains of snowflake, Arizona stumble upon a UFO hovering over an open field. One of the loggers Travis Walton steps out of the truck to take a closer look. He gets abducted. Missing for 5 days, his co-workers are being blamed for his murder. Walton appears 5 days later, and what he has to tell is incredible. Watch this amazing story unfold and be prepared for one of the most intense alien encounter scenes ever filmed. I have just learned that Paramount are finally releasing this on DVD anytime soon. Lets hope it was worth the long wait. This is a true story!
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3/10
Four minutes of aliens, 96 minutes of hillbillies
cornflakeboy201 November 2013
This movie must have been approved by the participants in the "true story," because this movie spends an inordinate amount of time - most of its time, actually - telling us what ordinary, folksy, down-home, nuclear-family-breeding good old boys these characters are. I expected to see them photographed in front of a giant flag like Patton. After a friend disappears during a trip, the town tries to determine whether it was an actual alien abduction as the men claim. This, in itself, could have been compelling, courtroom drama type stuff, but it is dreadfully dull. We are at about the eighty minute mark before we see any aliens, and they are indeed scary, and the scene is frightening. Fans of the movie must remember these four minutes, which can probably now be seen on YouTube. This is the only portion of the movie worth viewing. For the remainder of the movie, you'd be far more entertained hanging out in a truck stop.
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5/10
Unassuming UFO Abduction Flick.
rmax30482328 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
In 1975 five guys were driving through the desolate forests of Arizona and one of them seems to have been killed or kidnapped by a giant pulsing orange UFO. The others take off and return in a hurry to town and don't report the incident. When they finally do, everyone else in the little community of Snowflake thinks that they killed Travis Walton (D. B. Sweeney) and left his body up there somewhere. Even the state's criminal investigator (James Garner) is skeptical.

One or two thorough police searches of the area turn up nothing -- not the crater that the loggers claim was created by the UFO -- but no body either. Young Travis is missing for five days and nights, dressed only in denims, in the mountains where the temperature drops into the 20s (F). When he turns up, he's naked, incoherent, bewhiskered, and looks slightly used. He tells his friends who, once again, delay reporting the return of the dead Walton. Later Walton, in a flashback, informs the authorities that he spent the missing time aboard a kind of space ship (the decor of which closely resembles that of the crashed one in "Alien"), where he was covered by a kind of giant condom by wrinkled, pinkish crew members. The results of the polygraph tests are inconclusive, one of Walton's friends having walked out in the middle of his. (He was hiding a criminal record.) There has been considerable dissension among the five loggers, though the reasons are vague, and the movie ends on a note of uncertainty. The chief logger (Robert Patrick, Agent Doggonit in "The X Files") and Walton visit the site of the incident a few years later. Walton has always blamed the others for leaving him behind and scurrying off. But now the two estranged friends make up, smile, and drive away from the site in peace.

It doesn't really click for some reason. Except for James Garner, who is his reliable self, full of folk wisdom and common sense, the performances aren't very good, and they need to be, because the script wanders around from here to there, sometimes passing beyond implausible into positively dubious. Must ALL the townspeople glare at Patrick and the others -- in the café? At the town hall meeting in the church? And the film has surprisingly little in the way of sense of place, of local color. There is no vastness in this vast wilderness. The interiors of the working-class homes look like generic working-class "homes". And the script is so weak it leaves us in doubt about what's going on with the polygraph tests. The dialog, even when delivered believably, lacks sparkle and tag lines.

On the other hand, a lot of effort evidently went into Walton's experiences aboard the space ship. I don't know whether "Alien" (1979) was such a good influence on space ships or not. Before "Alien" all space ships were shiny, metallic, high-tech, impeccably clean and full of right angles. Since "Alien" they all look like something cobbled together out of Play-Do by a demented five-year-old kid, then poked full of holes, and squirted with organic honey.

And why all this stuff about the horrifying experience anyway? Val Lewton discovered that sometimes the scariest things of all are those that you don't see. They'd have been better off throwing that money into the script and the cast and coming up with an effective psychological drama and mystery. I can see a neat little film coming out of it.

As it is, we're more or less forced into going along with Travis Walton's spectacular story, unless the detailed flashback is lying, as well as the five loggers. Were Walton and the others pulling a hoax for whatever reason? Who knows. Walton must have made some money out of it -- he wrote a detailed book about the event and he's co-writer on this movie. That doesn't mean it didn't happen, of course. There is simply too much evidence from credible people that SOMETHING is going on, something entirely non-paradigmatic, and we don't have the slightest idea what it is. It's a stretch to think that aliens are behind it, but if they are, I have a suggestion for our extra-terrestrial visitors. Next time you decide to pluck somebody up and take him for a long ride into outer space, don't choose some redneck nobodies in boots and cowboy hats, with names like Lamar Oakum and Dwight ("Big Bobbie") Thumm. Drop in on Washington, DC, and make off with a politician. Take your pick. Keep him as long as you like.
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10/10
Perhaps the definitive movie tutorial on how horrific it can be to be implanted by aliens
Yiannis_Galidakis8 October 2011
For a sci-fi aficionado like me, the issue is not really whether the story is true or not. Fire In The Sky goes beyond that: It is the unimaginable horror that the experience induces to the abductee and how the directors of this movie bring it out clearly and distinctly.

Whether Travis Walton's story is true or not, this movie has that super-eerie feeling which characterizes movies which "stand-out" for some reason, having this little "something" which makes a big difference.

The crux of the experience - which inevitably includes an actual encounter with some very strange aliens, is a masterpiece of visual effects compounded with the terrific music of Mark Isham, with many specific points addressed in the best possible manner, leaving several points as food for thought.

Things which I particularly liked: 1) The visceral, semi-humanoid and totally horrific appearance of the aliens. Almost human, but not quite. Almost friendly, but not quite. Almost joking, but not quite. Almost compassionate, but not quite.

2) The distinct illogic of the aliens: Technologically advanced? Interested in the human condition or relentless and brutal sadists? Tired with the arrogance of humans or strange experimenters who do what needs to be done for reasons only they know?

3) Hard to sort through the aliens' intentions. This is what I liked most. Not some stereotypical preconceived notion of good/bad ETs, rather beings which reek of the unknown with intentions not well understood, sprinkled with small doses of compassion, standing in front of Chaos and infusing their experience to poor Travis, who, not being anybody knowledgeable, is terrified to death from the encounter.

It is PRECISELY this feeling of the Unknown which transferred to me a distinct feeling of fear, a fear not borne of their advanced technology, but of other, seemingly minute things, such as their unexplainable behavior or the place where their spaceship took Travis, a space without stars and their incessant staring into some sort of unknown energy source which seemed to fuel their entire existence.

I would say with confidence that this film ranks among the best sci-fi films on the subject of alien abduction and implantation without any hesitation, regardless of whether you take the Travis Walton story as true or not.

Don't miss this film.
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6/10
Very underrated
BandSAboutMovies31 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
If you have ever had a nightmare of being abducted by aliens, maybe avoid this movie. It's harrowing and has one of the most brutal alien encounters scenes I've ever seen in a film.

Based on Travis Walton's book The Walton Experience, which describes a "this really happened" extraterrestrial encounter, this movie features D.B. Sweeney as the author and Robert Patrick plays his brother-in-law. It also may be the second time Henry Thomas met an alien, but trust me, this one doesn't go as well.

November 5, 1975. Snowflake, Arizona,. Loggers Travis Walton (Sweeney), Mike Rogers (Patrick), Allan Dallis (Craig Sheffer, One Tree Hill), David Whitlock (Peter Berg, Very Bad Things), Greg Hayes (Thomas) and Bobby Cogdill (Bradley Gregg, Class of 1999) are out in the woods when a UFO blasts Walton away to, well, somewhere and the other men are accused of murder by Sheriff Blake Davis (Noble Willingham) and Lieutenant Frank Watters (James Garner).

However, Walton shows up alive days later, suffering from flashbacks to the nightmare that he has survived, one that no one believes. However, the filmmakers thought the real Walton's story was boring, so they embellished. And by embellished, I mean they went into nightmare crazy world and made a movie that still scares me every time I watch it.
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10/10
Fire in the Sky, what would you do if you saw it?
Movie Nuttball2 September 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Minor spoilers

Fire in the Sky has some very scary moments or at least the movie did for me! When the guys discover the "fire" that is an incredibly shocking scene and near the end when we see it all that there scared the $&*# out of me and to this day it still does! Robert Patrick, James Garner, D.B. Sweeney, and Peter Berg are all good in this! I recommend all alien fans to watch this and get scared!
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New Review...
andy-22722 January 2003
I posted sometime earlier a review of "Fire in the Sky", and now having reviewed in many years later, I have to revise my thoughts. "Fire in the Sky" is a very flawed Hollywood horror movie pretending to be a true story. Sure it's well done and has some good dramatic tension throughout the film, and most notably, an "abduction" sequence that is a standalone. But looking at the film as a whole, it's greatest problem is that it all seems to center around the "abduction" scene in the film, which isn't exactly to Travis Walton's descriptions anyway. It's studio meddling intended to try and spice up the picture into something really frightening. It works on that level, yes, but in the end, it's simply studio meddling and not the intriguing experience one will read about in "The Walton Experience" by Travis Walton himself.

From a technical standpoint, "Fire in the Sky" is well made and acted. Performances are good all around, and D.B. Sweeney has earned recognition for portraying Travis Walton, notably due to the alien sequence. There is a good sense of drama all around, with townsfolk skepticism regarding Travis Walton's disappearance, the ordeal of Travis' co-workers enduring the skeptics, and of course, the ordeal of Walton himself. Still, when it all adds up in the end, what are we left with? In actuality, we are left with an alien sequence.

This is where the film really comes alive, and the sad part is that it's pure dramatic license. Pure fear and horror is the primary intent on the part of the filmmaker's here, and through a triumph of set design and special effects as well as cinematography on the part of Bill Pope(who would later shoot "The Matrix"), we are set, with actor D.B. Sweeney, inside a domain unlike any we've ever been in before. The floating effect where the camera itself seems to float in zero gravity with such grace and smoothness is always one that will baffle the eye. The creatures themselves aren't really that well animated, but are so ugly that we can only shy away in fear. The 'examination' itself, though familiar to countless ufologists and 'abductees', is frightening and invasive. The scene is very well made and done for what it is. Still, with all of this, this is not without it's problems.

I suppose my real problem with "Fire in the Sky" is trying to figure out what exactly the intent of this film was. What were the makers trying to do with it? It starts out as some sort of archetypical "true story" drama, then turns into a sci-fi horror show, intermingled with some bizarre humanoid metaphor about our inner evil, portrayed in the way the aliens treat Travis as a specimen, and in the end, forgotten completely with no real sense of closure. Weighing this all as a whole, what does it truly amount to? What is the point of all of it? A good scare? Telling a modified true story? Drama? If "Fire in the Sky" had nothing before or after the "alien" scene, no ties to it being a true story, and existed as a short film on it's own, it would be a great piece of work. Because there is such conflict within all the dramatic elements, and a lack of closure or greater character study, it fails. It is a popcorn horror show for people wanting to be scared and then forget about it. It makes no real effort to get inside Travis Walton as a character other than superficial cliche. It would have been more interesting if it spent more time with the character the film centered around, Travis Walton. It doesn't do that. He's merely a victim inside a frightening alien funhouse designed to scare people and sell tickets.

I guess "Fire in the Sky" can be appreciated for what it is, but sadly, instead of an interesting and informative document on a man allegedly abducted by aliens, which it could have been and had the potential to be, it is a guilty pleasure.
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8/10
The last half-hour is riveting!
mike4812828 June 2020
It starts out as a murder mystery. Travis Walton is missing for 5 days and presumed dead. He shows up naked and disorientated 5 days later near a gas station. A very old James Garner is his usual competent, folksy self as the very skeptical sheriff who leads the investigation. The last half hour is a bit scary (in a good way) and is a compilation of what Travis remembers and several other alien abductions. It is very well-done. This alone makes the film worthwhile. Did it actually happen or was it a hoax to get out of a logging contract? You be the judge. Currently playing on cable channels.
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