Dir: Philippe Mora
Star: Christopher Walken, Lindsay Crouse, Andreas Katsulas
Cert / Year: 15/ 1989
Format: VIDEO

Okay so you might not be into the whole alien and conspiracy thing, but you donít have to be. Communion is taken from a compelling "true story" of a writer that is forced to come to terms with the realization of learning that he has a history of alien abduction. Even harder a reality for him to swallow, bearing in mind that it is something that he has never believed in and was certainly unwilling to accept.

Whilst working on a book, author Whitley Streiber ( Christopher Walken) becomes increasingly troubled by his nightmares which start to preoccupy his waking moments. Unable to concentrate upon his new novel Streiber takes his family and his friend Alex (Andreas Katsulas) and his wife Sarah up to his cabin in the hills, for a break. During the night something happens which terrifies his friends and the following morning they beg him to take them all back to the city (ah diddums!). A couple of months later Whitley takes his family back up to the cabin for Christmas, and on December 26th 1985, Streiber's dream changes. A dream that weeks later turns out that he shared with the rest of the family. After his wife Anne (Lindsay Crouse) becomes increasingly worried about her husbands sanity, she convinces Whitley to see a shrink. Whilst under hypnosis Whitley describes the events of December 26th of which he previously had no recollection. Streiber then goes through all manner of medical procedures before he accepting the evidence of his situation. Shocked by the revelations, his wife goes under hypnosis only to discover that she can corroborate his story in detail in addition to the fact that now their son is also experiencing the same things.

Streibers experiences are brought painfully home to him through hypnosis, and this film depicts some of the torment he encountered due to the physical and mental invasion that he felt. Basically the film lays Streiber bare. Here is a successful author who doesnít believe in UFOís and aliens, who is having to come to terms with being abducted by aliens and being forced to believe in something that he considers "mumbo jumbo". After hypnosis and group therapy donít work, Streiber resigns himself to dealing with this matter in the only way that he knows how..... to write about it, the result is the bestselling novel "Communion" which traces his compelling story and his journey of self discovery. Whilst also successfully broaching Streiber's own question of whether he is a victim or a participant?

Philippe Mora (A Breed Apart, Howling 2&3) dissappointingly directs here to be honest, and misses some good oppurtunities along the way. The story and performances manage to build a good tension and superb atmosphere which has subsequently been copied by many of itís successors. If you like The X-Files then you will undoubtibly like this film.

Christopher Walken holds the film together putting in one of his best performances as the paranoid and delusional Streiber, seemingly perfect for the part. Andreas Katsulas ( Babylon 5) puts in a good performance as Streiber's best friend Alex, but still being recognisable as G'Kar. Lindsay Crouse (All the Presidents Men) copes with the part of Streiber's long suffering wife, Anne rather well. A notable mention should go to Eric Clapton for his superbly haunting theme for this film.

Overrall the film does remain perhaps as close to the book as possible, which is probably due to the fact that Whitley Streiber wrote the screenplay as well. Whether you believe in the existance extra terrestrials or not, as long as you watch this film with an open mind you will enjoy it. Communion is a landmark film and is at times a little disturbing. To be honest I felt this successfully contributes to the depiction of Streiber's "traumatic" ordeal. Whitley Streiber has actually produced some classic novels in his time, most notable for movie fans would be of course "The Hunger" and "Wolfen" although personally I feel that "Communion" is his best work.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Reviewed by Logan Back Top Home