Fire in the Sky (1993) Poster

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Is it True or Not ?
sniktawt16 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
I thought this was a decent film with above par acting (I am a huge fan of D.B. Sweeney and Robert Patrick and thought they were great in this) with an excellent, although somewhat exaggerated scene aboard an alien craft, which I really would have liked to have seen more of. The film is based on the true story of an alien abduction in Nov. 1975 of Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney), one of six loggers returning from a long day's work who happen upon an unidentified object in the forests of Arizona. Travis is the only one who gets abducted. When Travis does not return with the other men they are suspected of murdering him. He does however turn up five days later with his alien story in tow. As far fetched as this may sound, when you watch this, it's hard not to support the fact that Travis Walton was abducted by aliens. Although the film may have embellished it a bit, there are too many facts too support his claim.

I don't believe in U.F.O'S and after I watched this film I still don't but it made me second guess myself, Did it really happen or was this the best case of getting away with the perfect hoax ? Only the real Travis Walton Knows for sure.
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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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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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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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Fast forward on this one.
a1211108 February 2007
Dull.. The problem is the story which centers on the five guys who abandoned their unconscious buddy in the woods. Way too much time is spent on them trying to convince the authorities that they aren't lying and weren't involved in foul play.

'Course the whole UFO episode is questionable since the only evidence of the alien abduction story is Walton's flashback which the film inadvertently discredits by showing how Walton--suffering from dehydration and hypothermia--could, in his delirium, mistake his ambulance ride and hospital admission as an alien physical exam.

The scene aboard the alien spaceship is worth viewing but it'll scare the daylights out of kids, teenagers, and susceptible adults. No anal probing but plenty of horrifying images that'll stick in one's mind.
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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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ONE of THE BEST movies ever!!!
contact-22118 September 2004
This film will "grab you" and never let go ! I have watched my VHS of it over and over, each time sitting paralyzed with awe of what I am seeing!!!! I am looking for the DVD, sooner or later the tape will be worn out, at this rate of use!! This movie is amazing for it's subject matter, and that it's subject matter is based on actual events. Those men that were on that mountain are extremely lucky and cursed at the same time. I can not imagine the horror they felt. We all want "proof" that we are not alone. But to imagine the horror of getting what we think we want? I don't know. It would most certainly be an excellent experience to sit down with ANY of them and hear first hand of this event. Travis Walton especially. The movie does have some elements that are dramatized, and some of the events in the book are much different. Either way, FIRE IN THE SKY is on my fav list, no doubt!
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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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The story was a hoax
qwigs-116 October 2006
Thankfully story in this movie is actually a hoax. The fellows the movie protrays were renouned pranksters in their town, calling people up and telling them their cattle all died and that sort of thing.

The idea behind the 'abduction' had a couple motives. For one the National Enquirer at the time was offering $10 000 for the most fantastical alien experience. Secondly the guys responsible for the 'abduction story' were in danger of breeching their contract for clearing off the area of forest they were working on. They wouldn't have been able to clear off the land by their deadline. SO they needed some means of legally breaking their contract. The idea was, that if one of the workers was abducted by aliens then they'd be too scared to go back to work and they'd be able to break their contract with no penalties.

So that's what happened. Travis Walton wasn't actually all screwed up when he was found. He was in perfect condition like he was just hiding in somebody's barn for 5 days. Also the guys involved in the incident cheated on their lie detector tests. The National Enquirer had the lie detector operators sign non disclosure agreements and ran the story despite the fact that it was a hoax.

Sorry folks. Aliens aren't visiting earth and covering people with brown goo and cheese cloth.
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My Opinion on Fire In The Sky
Anewfoundplague10 January 2005
I'm not one to be gullible, and I agree with some of the other comments saying that Hollywood does project more of a well lets say Hollywood image on the movie. But.. I'd say I totally believe this event is true. Normally I'd say "Eh.. I don't know if that's true" but the fact that the men in real life actually took those lie detector tests I mean.. that's proof that this story wasn't totally made up. I am a firm believer in UFO's and I'd have to say I 100% believe this story. To say that alien Obductions have never happened is silly, their are too many people with these stories. Also another reason I tend to believe this story is because, The men in this story didn't really gain anything at all, in fact you could say when they came fourth with this story they lost instead of gained. The men were criticized throughout the town and still kept with their story. Travis, the man who abducted didn't deny the fact that he was abducted. I overall Believe this story and it was a very, very well made movie.
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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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imdb-com-12121 July 2004
I couldn't sleep the night I saw this movie. Usually, "horror" movies don't scare me, but this one seemed like it could actually have happened! (movie was based on true story). Then, call your doctor to get some Ambien to help you sleep. LOL. I've thought a lot since then about why I reacted so strongly to seeing this movie and come to the conclusion that I myself may have been abducted in the past and just don't have any conscious memory of it (which is probably more common than anyone knows, for obvious reasons). A year or two after I saw this movie, I had a really weird thing happen. Having mid-back length hair, I was putting it back in a ponytail and checked it out by looking at the back of my head in my bathroom mirror, by using a hand-held mirror to see. It was then that I noticed that right underneath my ponytail was a 1 inch by 1 inch swatch of hair that was only about 1 inch long and sticking straight out from my head.

It was all the same length, as if it had been cut off on purpose by someone. Well, it really creeped me out, because at the time I was single and lived alone. I hadn't had a haircut for over a year, and there was no way anyone could have cut it off, except for when I was sleeping, and I slept with the house locked up. I would have seen that much hair on the floor or in my brush if it was pulled or just fell out. It didn't make any sense, and perhaps was part of an abduction I don't remember. Who knows? Anyway, it made me remember the first (and only) time I ever watched this movie. Weird!
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For me the most terrifying movie ever!
Stitchthingy16 December 2003
I like short and clear reviews so let me try:

I became aware from this movie thanks to the discovery channel (I loved the UFO documentary's) and eventually found it in a video rental shop.

Well I began to watch and was not very impressed, everything was a little standard but it began to get more and more entertaining as it goes. Those who look for impressive special UFO effects should watch "Taken" because special effects are not A+ but very watchable.

The story really picks up while the movie goes and focused on the people element rather than the abduction itself which I think is a good thing. But in the end we are finally rewarded by visions of the abduction (did I mention this movie was about an Alien abduction :P)

The abduction itself is incredibly terrifying, I have a Phobia for these gray's and they haunted me in my sleep day after day and just wow! Incredibly scary :D

*** out of five!
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Although detailed in reality, it's still a dream.
emm11 March 1999
Hollywood is (and always has been) using the tabloid journalism approach to deliver this detailed account about a man being caught into a trap of unknown, unworldly creatures. I can see where any true story like this can be a flat out joke. Let's not fly back to the now-silly year of 1975 when low-budget U.F.O. movies dominated our fearful way of life. FIRE IN THE SKY is a pretty good variation of the old, though it isn't meant to be science fiction, which would be poorly contrived if it really was. Decide for yourself whether it's true reality or just a trip to Dreamland, but my skepticism points out that it is merely a false coincidence of a worldly event. Poor Travis would have scammed the tabloids out of just making big bucks for a living, which would be a serious crime had it been done. That could be a possible theory to discover. Anyway, the movie is helped by exampling a story surrounding a worldly event, which includes the lie detector test. You will most likely gain better interest at the point where it focuses on the conception of reality at a time when alien abduction poses an extremely threatening and dangerous situation to any human being. If looks aren't frightening enough, well, they are! CLOSE ENCOUNTERS proved that reality is an evitable thing of imaginative fantasy. This one tries its best at dramatizing a possible incident, and it does very well. Bottom line is, don't get mocked by so many goofy tabloid articles that induce panic. It may be better to save some time away from this movie, and read funny papers like Weekly World News. As they say, "That's Entertainment!".
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One of the worst cinematic messes I've had the misfortune of viewing
steve.schonberger21 December 2004
I saw this movie a long time ago, actually wasting money to see it in a theater. It was uncommonly terrible, as if a high school drama club had been given a film budget and a shaky _X-Files_ parody story for a screenplay -- and then tried to shoot it as serious drama instead of parody. No, that's not fair to high school drama clubs -- I think they'd do better than this.

The plot is the cliché of space aliens who abduct rednecks, do some humiliating procedures on them that vaguely resemble invasive medical examinations, and then release them back into the human world, where hardly anyone believes them because their story is ridiculous. The story claims to be based on a true story. I suppose it could be a true story in the sense that people occasionally claim to be abducted by space aliens, but it had the feel of a parody that someone was trying to take seriously.

The acting ranged from lackluster down to pitiful. Even James Garner wasn't much good -- maybe he realized he was slumming and couldn't put his heart into it. The effects were mostly cliché and cheap-looking, but one of the medical humiliation sets was pretty good. I don't remember whether the directing was any good.

Mercifully, my memory of this piece of trash has faded, but it would have been even better if I had never seen it at all.
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Some people will believe anything!
Skeptic4595 January 2004
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers! As my pen-name suggests, I am a very skeptical person. However I do try and keep an open mind. I don't believe in aliens but that is not to say they don't exist. Although, it would be highly unlikely. How probable is that there are aliens who just happen to have have a humanoid form, cruising around snatching unborn fetuses and sperm samples from homo sapiens? Why not contact us directly? I am sure there are many people out there who would do all this very willingly just to get a ride in one of their flying saucers!

Yes, there is stuff out there that is unexplainable. It would be arrogant to think that nature does not have a few more tricks up its sleeve that we don't understand. But it is the human races own bizarre interpretation that lights in the sky are creatures from another planet, joyriding and giving random people anal probes.

For those interested in whether this story is true or not, I suggest you go to google and type in Travis Walton.

The one question you have to ask in a case such as this is, who benefits? Travis Walton and his buddies were doing forestry work. They were logging. They hadn't felled enough tree's. From my hazy memory. I recall that they were going to get fined by the contract company or lose their account with them or both. How were they going to get out of this? Fake an alien abduction. Not only do they get out of their logging contract but they also get paid to sell their story! Yes, Walton was paid to sell his story. Walton has taken all you alien fans for a ride!

You also have to remember that the information on the abduction was obtained from Walton under hypnosis. Hypnosis is notoriously unreliable. Just read psychologist, Elizabeth Loftus, on how easily memory can be tricked using hypnosis. It can even be so fooled that yes, it will pass a polygraph. Remember the whole false memory syndrome thing that happened years ago? Well, this UFO stuff is just more evidence of it. Hypnosis can cause subjects to begin to confabulate their responses. The hypnotists subject starts to make things up to please the hypnotist. Keep in mind that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Where is the real proof? You cannot justify a story like this on hypnosis and a polygraph test.

I think the whole UFO phenomenon is just a cultural fad, a kind of mass hysteria. Most of those major individuals of the UFO movement are just conning some gullible people. The media of course goes along with this stuff because lurid tales of abduction by aliens sure sell papers! Satanic ritual abuse was exactly the same kind of thing until it was proven to be a hoax. Notice how in the late 70's through to the 80's that this sought of thing was really popular and was really making a mark in popular culture. Slowly but surely the alien phenomenon has dissipated and is no longer as prevalent as it once was. Have you noticed now that when an alien abduction documentary comes along that the experience is now put down to sleep paralysis? Notice how hypnosis has moved out of the picture? The 'what if' is no longer the main feature of the documentary. It is, 'oh, so this stuff this is caused by a unique brain function.'

The movie itself is a tv mini-series turned into a movie format. The acting is pretty average. The best parts are when Travis is being operated on by the little spacemen. I kept thinking, so this is how chimps feel? It is almost like the director is saying, 'see! How would you like to be tested on? Not very nice is it! I hope you start marching for animal rights!' The special effects are pretty good, I like the sticky sheet thing that they put on Walton.

By the end of the film the aliens get rid of Walton because he is too much of a pain in the butt. Hey, leave our spacesuits alone buddy! Why do abductees always come back? If you wanted to collect genetic material , would you not just take the organism and lock them in a cage on your own planet? The whole alien abduction thing just falls apart when you think about it logically. Say aliens have been abducting people since the late 40's. Or from the time when UFO's were first sighted. Would they now not have enough genetic material to continue their race?

Because the whole film rests on some really big lies and deceptions. This makes the whole movie really unattractive. It would be fine if they made the film without the 'based on a true story.' Please, don't insult my intelligence by stating that it is a true story. Take it for what it is, a fictional but interesting country yarn. 4 out of 10.
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Fails To Really Grab Hold
sddavis6329 June 2002
Purportedly based on an actual incident of alien abduction, "Fire In The Sky" has some good things going for it, but in the end it just failed to really capture my attention for some reason.

I watched the movie admittedly as a skeptic about UFOs. From that point of view, I was pleased that the movie dealt not so much with the UFO incident itself, although it does offer some graphic details of Travis Walton's (D.B. Sweeney) experience with the aliens, but rather with the reaction of others (family, friends, media, police, etc.) to Travis afterward.

Sweeney played the part rather well. He came across as appropriately terrified and emotionally and mentally devastated after the experience we saw on screen (which was offered by way of scattered memories that Travis had of the experience.) The supporting cast was decent; the special effects in the alien spaceship were well done

All in all, I'm not really sure why I didn't care for this movie. For whatever reason I just couldn't keep focused on it. (Perhaps my skepticism kept me from accepting this as a true story; I might have enjoyed it more as a fictional account?) Anyway, for believers in UFOs this will probably be a great movie to watch. For me? Well, the best I can give it is a 3/10.
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