Customer Reviews: Communion
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on April 19, 2011
One of my fav Chris Walken movies, Communion. Not a typical sci-fi or alien movie by any means but the kind I like. Based on supposed true alien encounters, but not promising to be real as the case with this new crap like The Fourth Kind. One of the last true great alien films of the 80s/90s era. The only other alien film I really enjoy besides this one is Fire In The Sky which goes along similar lines as this film. The story of a man who is abducted by aliens but hasn't realized/come to terms with it until he uncovers this truth in psycho analysis. A true wonder and definitely a defining role for Chris Walken.
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on December 6, 2000
From Whitley Strieber's non-fictional alien abduction tale, Communion, Christopher Walken is called upon to portray visually this unbelievable and awesome account of a man confronted by other-world beings. The best-selling book was hard to put down for me so when I saw a box cover in the video store w/ an alien face and the word Communion on it I thought, "oh great, another Fire in the Sky hollywood flop." Contrary to my first reaction, I pulled the cover off the shelf and snatched the tape behind it to take home and "examine". Later that night, to my surprise I was on the edge of my seat watching this movie, as I did with the book, feeling very surprised and impressed. First of all, without the presence of the highly acclaimed Christopher Walken, the movie would have been, for lack of a better term, nothing. His role is the central character and author of the story Whitley Strieber but his mannerisms and personality are that of... himself!! That's what makes the movie so interesting, a larger than life actor is playing the lead role in a larger than life story and it works to make a great film. Not to mention the fact that the soundtrack is a swirl of soft emotional violins contrasted by echoing guitars played by none other than the legendary Eric Clapton. It's some of his finest guitar work in my opinion. So in closing, if you're tired of big predictable blockbusters and you're looking for a good movie about a fantastic experience and a very unpredictable plot line, Communion is the film to see. If you like independent movies (Reservoir Dogs, Blair Witch, etc.)with big actors, pick up Communion today!
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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.
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on April 11, 2005
Whilst it is impossible for a film to emulate the deposit of information contained within a book, people seem to forget the disparity between the two mediums when writing reviews. Therefor i believe many of the reviews i have read thus far are inaccurate, as any comparison to the book immediately renders them. What the film version does maintain, without question is the feeling that pervades the book.

The sense of a constantly eerie presence that is communicating from between the lines of the author/character, through him, using him and his medium as a host. The different mediums of the book and the film versions create a body of experience together, so that one should not be taken in without the other, as the book is absorbed through the left brain orifice, whilst the film's elaborate images are received through the right brain channel, thus equally affecting the imagination by different means, thereby bridging the hemispheres.

An atmospheric journey through the cosmic conspiracy of the human mind, and the red herring of visitors from afar, communion provides many moments of mystical strangitude, continuing the path the book began. For those of you who seek exposition, definitely pick up the book and absorbe every line of information through your third eye. There are some minor differences, such as the hynotist in the film being a female, and the presence of budd hopkins nowhere to be found here, but these were probably cinematic decisions made on the spur of the moment, to keep the focus on the elucidation of the experience Strieber is going through.
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on May 12, 1999
The movie,"Communion",which is based on a contoversial New York Times bestseller by the same name, is in no respects as convincing as the novel written by author Whitley Strieber. Strieber's novel and movie both tell the "true" story of his personal encounters with apparent aliens, which Strieber has coined the term "visitors" when refering to them. The movie lacks in several departments. One, obviously, is the budget(or lack there of) which takes away from the movies ability to portray realistic aliens or visitors, or whatever they are. The aliens, which are now easily recognized by there large black eyes in modern American pop culture, look in this movie quite literally like cheap rubber balloons.(probably because that's what they are)Strieber's book however, does not have the need for cheesy props to convey his story in convincing detail; probably the reason people had an interest in his book, back in 1987. Ask anyone though,who has read his next several books on the same subject; if they are capable of thinking logically,they will most likely tell you about the steady flow of contradictions ever present in his writing.This brings us to a second flaw in the movie, which is: Strieber spins a tale to the movies viewers which is sketchy at best. On one hand, we are led to believe the visitors are aliens in big bright spaceships, who stick needles in Whitley's brain. On the flip side of the coin, the movie suggests the visitors are actually the physical manefistation of human evolution, or some weird metaphysical thing like that. So which is it? One of the few saving graces of the film however, is Christopher Walken's portrayel of a confused and frightened Whitley Strieber. Walken's performance is excellent as always, and may be the only thing keeping the movie going. I give "Communion" three stars. One for Walken's performance, the second for what I must admit to be a fairly entertaining story(especially if you are a fan of Strieber's work); and the last for a very good transition of the confusing and contradictory aspects of the book to film. Don't watch "Communion" expecting to find answers to the many questions about what Strieber is trying to say in his books, nor with with heavy scrutiny. Rather, watch it with a good sense of humor. You'll need it.
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on January 1, 2016
Superb alien abduction film (among many like THE INTRUDERS) because of its excellent cast and because Walken portrays a well-known fiction writer who actually suffered through this experience. In this film, we don't have only talk about aliens (such as in FOURTH KIND and DARK SKIES), we actually see them as the real-life writer reportedly saw them.

Walken continues to be the versatile actor he has always been.
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on March 27, 2016
After reading the book of the same name, I went into this with high expectations. I have seen many presentations given by Whitley Strieber, and while I'm a very big fan of Christopher Walken, he doesn't seem to fit the profile. Either mentally or physically. Walken's creative craziness doesn't match the Strieber that I've seen in many UFO Symposiums and various speeches he's given. The little gnome guys are a different take on your 'normal' run-of-the-mill grays also. Very disturbing, is the scene of poor Strieber/Walken being 'taken unnaturally'! I've heard and read unpleasant things concerning the abduction phenomenon, but I think they could have left that out-especially since he didn't exactly 'put up a fight', if you know what I mean. Before I ordered this, I had read other reviews of it and many people mentioned the 'hokeyness' factor. But, because I am trying to build my UFO library with movies that are only based on factual cases and no fiction-if I can help it,I ordered it anyway. Especially, after reading the book, which is quite a bit different, by the way, since I'm sure you've asked that question from the 'git-go'. While a few things are the same and the regular daily life seems to be what Strieber described, Hollywood strayed from his actual account in more ways than one. Never the less, I had to have this in my collection because it's based on real experiences. It was very hard to find too. I looked everywhere in my area of the Baltimore/Washington D.C. corridor to no avail. So, I went home and flipped on my idiot box(no, not the TV!) and started scanning Amazon. Boom! There it was. 'What's that? Credit card number?" Next thing you know, one week later, there it was, in my hand. I immediately sat down to watch it and came away a little disappointed, but not regretful of buying it. It was hard to find and I'm glad that I did finally get it. I've been wanting to see it for a long time. Now, if they would just update it with some better effects and pay closer attention to what Mr. Streiber has to say, they might have something that many people will be willing to listen to. Mr. Streiber says that he is still experiencing things from time to time and it has always been a very serious issue for him to deal with.They could do him a favor and take him a little more serious, instead of making a mockery of his story. The abduction phenomenon is a world-wide thing, and he is one of millions that report being taken every year. Each year, 100,000 children disappear and 1,000,000 adults also, with no trace-nothing! Gone! Where are they and why are some lucky enough to be returned to tell about it?
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on May 29, 2013
I've heard Whitley a lot on; have not read any of his books or listened to his books on tape.

I expected just a little bit more from this movie...Streiber is incredibly eloquent and even funny on his many radio appearances..I don't find much humor coming from the lead character great as Walken is in every frame.

Another disappointment: the too cute little munchkin aliens - not the "greys" - they're hip! My take is that the Director is trying to show that Streiber as a kid is visited by aliens he can *relate* - as if the extra-terrestrials know that something cute and cuddly goes a long way with an Earth kid.

Cinematography is excellent and helps carry the picture. Lighting is perfect for every scene.

[Review based upon VHS version].
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I loved it. This is a classic alien abduction movie and Walken steals the show. He is neurotic and quite frankly a little annoying. I also thought the aliens looked hoaky. But it's a great story and Walken brings that out. I recommend it, warts and all.
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on August 21, 2013
The first time I watched this movie I remember feeling scared and amazed. The acting is very convincing and the story is just strange enough to seem real. The weird thing is how plastic the aliens look, but that works here on a new level of creepiness. I read the book shortly after seeing the movie and it was a good too.
Because of the locale of this movie, and the over the top quirky acting by Walken, I wanna' place this movie alongside "King of New York".
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