The Christopher Walken ’80s Sci-Fi True Story Thriller Will Change Your View Of The Universe, Stream Immediately Without Netflix

By Matthew Flynn | Published

Released in 1989 and starring Christopher Walken, Communion is a distinctive film based on Whitley Strieber’s autobiographical book of the same name. This science fiction horror film narrates an extraordinary story of a family vacation gone awry when they encounter an extraterrestrial phenomenon that changes their lives.


Christopher Walken takes the lead role as Whitley Strieber, a New York-based author who, along with his wife and child, experiences unsettling paranormal activities. Walken’s character is tormented by nightmares and visions of alien beings, leading to a strain on his personal and professional life. His experiences lead him to a psychiatrist, played by Frances Sternhagen, who introduces him to hypnotic regression therapy. The story unfolds as Strieber grapples with his terrifying visions, ultimately leading to an encounter with the alleged alien beings.

Alien Abduction Film

Christopher Walken, Communion’s star, requires no introduction. He has graced the silver screen for decades, appearing in iconic films such as The Deer Hunter, for which he won an Oscar, and later in Pulp Fiction. Frances Sternhagen, known for her roles in Misery and The Closer, plays the role of the psychiatrist in Communion.

Based On Real Claims

The Christopher Walken film Communion was not without controversy. Whitley Strieber, the author of the book and the real-life person on whom the story is based, expressed dissatisfaction with the film, criticizing its inaccurate representation of his experiences. Strieber also felt he was mocked by some of the crew during the movie’s filming due to his claims regarding the extraterrestrial experience.

True To The Real Event

Strieber also did not want his book turned into a movie by a major studio out of fear it would become a special effects extravaganza that strayed too far from his true story. Instead, what would ultimately become a Cristopher Walken vehicle, Communion, was shopped to independents.

Ultimately, Philippe Mora, known for his work on a variety of genres from art-house to mainstream, was chosen to direct. Influenced by diverse cinematic styles and narratives, including Fellini, Cocteau, and Buster Keaton, Mora’s filmography is a testament to his adaptability and creativity. In addition to Christopher Walken’s Communion, notable among his works are Mad Dog Morgan, The Beast Within, and Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?

A Critical Flop But A Cult Classic

Critically, the film holds a 33 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but despite the low score, many critics highlighted Walken’s commendable performance as a redeeming factor. Despite this, Christopher Walken’s Communion has developed a cult following over time. As time has passed, viewers have come to appreciate Communion for its unique take on the story of an alien encounter,

The Amazing Soundtrack

The film’s soundtrack is another standout as tt features a unique blend of music arranged by Eric Clapton and Alan Clark of Dire Straits. Additionally, the main theme and end credit theme were produced by a former member of Oingo Boing who went on to become a composer—no, not Danny Elfman, but his former bandmate, guitarist Steve Bartek. Unfortunately, the soundtrack to Christopher Walken’s Communion was never officially released, so the only way to enjoy it is by watching the movie.

Watch Christopher Walken in Communion for free on Peacock, Roku Channel, Vudu, Tubi, and Freevee. Afterward, check out the GenreVision podcast episode on the film for more discussion.