What Is the Movie "Communion" About?

by Elizabeth Burns Google

"Communion," released in 1989, tells the story of a writer haunted by memories of being abducted by extraterrestrials on his vacation. It is a dramatization of "Communion: A True Story," a book about alien abduction. The book and the screenplay were both written by American author Whitely Strieber, who says the alleged encounters with aliens are based on real events. The movie stars Christoper Walken as Strieber and Lindsay Crouse as his wife, Anne. It was directed by Philippe Mora.

Mysterious Lights

The action begins when Strieber goes to his cabin in upstate New York for a vacation, accompanied by his wife and their friends Alex (Andreas Katsulas) and Sara (Terri Hanauer). Strange lights descend on the cabin in the middle of the night, and Strieber sees a long face with narrow eyes observing him from a corner of the room. Unable to explain what happened, they return home. But Strieber is subsequently troubled by hallucinations and dreams that cause him to seek help from psychiatrist Janet Duffy, played by Frances Sternhagen.

Hypnotic Regression

While undergoing hypnotic regression, Strieber remembers encounters with aliens throughout his life. Although his rational mind is unable to accept these revelations, the writer continues to be haunted by disturbing memories.

Spoiler: Communion

Strieber returns to his cabin in the hope of discovering the truth about his apparent encounters with beings from a distant civilization. He once again encounters the visitors. Although they cannot reveal their true identity, they convince the author that their purpose might be to help him and others achieve personal transformation.


The movie received mixed critical reviews after its release in cinema and on DVD. The Rotten Tomatoes film site said it dramatizes a story all the more compelling for its author's insistence that it is true. The DVD Review website notes that Strieber's own skepticism adds credibility to a fascinating film filled with suspense. The New York Times said the film succeeded in preaching to the converted, but offered little insight to anyone else.

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