Top critical review
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Well-Acted, Sometimes Effective, not bad.
on August 1, 2001
"Communion" the movie is a well-acted and sometimes effective drama. Christopher Walken does a good job here, though I've seen him do much better, but here he totally disappears in this character of Whitley Strieber. However, we are never quite clear of what the movie's intentions are. Is it a simple little creepy story? Or a serious dissection of the alien abduction phenomenon? I guess maybe it depends on your point of view on the subject. Which is, I guess, the same way people view the bestselling (non-fiction) book of the same name. I personally can say that I have never experienced some sort of UFO abduction and have my doubts on the existance of alien life, so I look at "Communion" from an outsider's view. For those of us who don't stay in the circle of UFO researchers or "Experiencers," "Communion" works as a good try at scaring the viewer. There are some effective sequences, especially those that take place in the Striebers' cabin, where the abductions first took place. The scenes with the alien beings look really well-done and real. I don't call "Communion" science fiction because it is, like the book, being sold as a true story and there are people who believe it and who have reported claims in the same nature and no offense is wished, so, for me "Communion" comes off as a creepy drama. It isn't completely horrific, indeed, I wished for a few better scares. The reason the movie didn't work completely for me, was that at the end I was left confused and puzzled, "Communion" isn't very clear on what happened or how. It was reported that a film was being worked on based on Strieber's follow-up, "Transformation," but it apparently never materialized, though I wished it had to shed some more light on the story. In fact, "Communion" is not clear when things ARE happening, not just when it shows flashbacks. Take the scene near the end when Walken apparently visits an alien vessel, I didn't understand zilch of what was going on in there and when Walken suddenly wakes up in his car, I was even more confused. Still, "Communion" isn't BAD, it works as an original story and as a showcasing of great performances through-out. UFO buffs will probably love it, outsiders like myself apparently need to not only read the book (which I haven't but now plan to) but watch the movie again after doing so. Not horrible, not terrible, not great, but entertaining and interesting.