5.7/10
4,852
50 user 25 critic

Communion (1989)

Trailer
1:49 | Trailer
Whitley Strieber goes with his family and some friends to his holiday home in the forest. They experience some weird occurances, are they UFO activity? Whitley is abducted and then faces a ... See full summary »

Director:

Philippe Mora

Writers:

Whitley Strieber (book), Whitley Strieber (screenplay)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Christopher Walken ... Whitley Strieber
Lindsay Crouse ... Anne Strieber
Frances Sternhagen ... Dr. Janet Duffy
Andreas Katsulas ... Alex
Terri Hanauer ... Sarah
Joel Carlson ... Andrew Strieber
John Dennis Johnston ... Fireman
DeeDee Rescher ... Mrs. Greenberg (as Dee Dee Rescher)
Aileen Fitzpatrick Aileen Fitzpatrick ... Mother
R.J. Miller R.J. Miller ... Father
Holly Fields ... Praying Mantis Girl
Paula Shaw ... Woman from Apartment
Juliet Sorci Juliet Sorci ... Second Grade Girl (as Juliet Sorcey)
Tifni Twitchell Tifni Twitchell ... Teacher
Joshua Miller Joshua Miller ... Tall Boy (as Joshua John Miller)
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Storyline

Whitley Strieber goes with his family and some friends to his holiday home in the forest. They experience some weird occurances, are they UFO activity? Whitley is abducted and then faces a horrible dilema; was I abducted or am I going mad? He sees a psychiatrist who tries to use hypnotic regression to discover the truth. Written by Matthew Stanfield <mattst@cogs.susx.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

On December 26th, 1985, Whitley Strieber had a dream. Weeks later, he discovered his family had the same dream. Months later, he made the most shocking discovery of his life. Now, you will discover it. See more »


Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 November 1989 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Besucher See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$1,919,653
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Whitley Strieber: in the museum sequence near the end. See more »

Goofs

As Whitley opens the closet to find the teddy bear he opens the right closet door. When filmed from the inside, both doors are open and he then proceeds to close the left door. See more »

Quotes

Whitley Strieber: Then there's the other thing. The rectal thing.
Dr. Friedman: Well it happens, you know? Even to men.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Fox TV version suffers from some poorly executed video signal enhancements; the brightness level of bright objects has been boosted and digitially diffused. This adds to the ethereal atmosphere of the "ship" and hides some of the flaws in the special effects. However, because it was applied to the entire tape, even the late afternoon sunlight streaming into Dr. Janet Duffy's (Frances Sternhagen) office appears to be the Second Coming. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Fourth Kind (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

PUTTIN' ON THE RITZ
Written by Irving Berlin
(c) Irving Berling Music Corporation
See more »

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User Reviews

Thoughtful treatment of controversial subject.
19 June 1999 | by Rocko-6See all my reviews

The film depicts the personal and professional crises a writer experiences after a series of encounters with non-human beings.

The film strongly benefits from the performances of Christopher Walken and Lindsay Crouse. Walken (always engaging) manages the challenging task of making Whitley Strieber a compelling character; you care about him even if you don't necessarily like him 100% of the time. Crouse succeeds as Whitley's wife; the two together are immediately believable as a married couple.

The film is arguably the most intelligent film about the alien abduction/ visitor phenomenon. Unlike countless cheap, made-for-TV films, where the emphasis is on the sensationalistic, "shocking" aspects of the subject, COMMUNION focuses on the psychological and emotional harm the experience does. We see Strieber 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.

After questioning everyone from medical professionals to fellow abductees, Whitley realizes the only ones with the answers are the visitors themselves. At the film's climax, he willingly presents himself to the visitors. This is what makes COMMUNION transcend every other film about the phenomenon.

Director Phillipe Mora successfully creates a "you-are-there" atmosphere, letting the actors improvise a lot of their dialogue. There are two distinct moods: one, where things are brightly lit, secure, and normal; and secondly, the dark, unsettling world Strieber inhabits only with himself and with the visitors. Mora's direction is subtle, with cues in both the dialogue and a detailed, occasionally wry visual style.

Another plus is Eric Clapton's opening and closing theme music.

This is a seriously underrated film.

The director's cut (with commentary by Mora) is recommended.


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