STARRING: Christopher Walken, Lindsay Crouse, Frances Sternhagen, Andreas Katsulas, Terri Hanauer, Joel Carlson, Basil Hoffman

1989, 107 Minutes , Directed by: Philippe Mora

Description: Based on the best-selling novel by Whitley Strieber, "Communion" depicts the personal and professional crises a writer experiences after a series of encounters with non-human beings. The film focuses on the psychological and emotional harm the experience does. We see Strieber (Christopher Walken) describe his experiences to his medical doctor, and then to a psychiatrist. Once his own mental health has been established, then (and only then) does he begin to consider the possibility that the creatures he has seen are actually real.

Whether you actually enjoy this movie probably depends on whether you take UFOs and people who are kidnapped by them seriously. If you do, then you'll take this movie seriously because it is an (allegedly) true account of a previous unbeliever, who in therapy groups, come to realize that he has not only been kidnapped by aliens, but that he has been subjected to experiments akin to rape by them.

Um well, enough hokum to keep any New Age groupie happy I suppose. If, like the rest of us, you don't take this sort of thing serious, then you're likely to feel that this is one of the weakest movies you've ever seen.

For one, the aliens are completely unbelievable and makes one wonder whether they are intentionally meant to look like those often seen in old 1950s sci-fi movies.  The light effects, while very Close Encounters-like, are below standard. Not to mention the sets . . .

Christopher Walken, the guy who sat between Big Foot and Elvis on the UFO, is mostly the problem. Walken is best at playing bit roles as bad guys in movies like True Romance and Batman Returns or psychos like Annie Hall's sister. But as a writer anally probed by aliens (don't laugh - the movie expects us to take this seriously) with whom we are supposed to be sympathetic he is too emotionally unaffecting.

Give this one a miss . . . unless you want to believe.

Incidentally, Whitley Strieber on whose "autobiographical" best-selling book this film is based, has recently admitted that he may have imagined the whole incident. Thought you might like to know . . .


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