Fire in the Sky and the ALIEN EXPERIEMENTS Moment

The One-Line Summary: When Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) and his logging co-workers encounter an unidentified flying object while driving home one night, Walton is struck by a bright beam of light that hurls him backwards, causing the others to flee in terror, though when he disappears for five days, coming back naked and incoherent, there is a lot of skepticism surrounding the incident and questions as to whether he was actually abducted by aliens from another world or part of an elaborate hoax. 

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The Two-Line Blurb: Based loosely on The Walton Experience, a book by a man claiming an alien abduction, the film takes a decided stand on the issue, presenting it as an actual event instead of leaving a more ambiguous ending for viewers to create their interpretation. That said, the movie creates what is perhaps the most terrifying, unsettlingly and visually arresting moments on film when Walton awakens aboard the alien space craft in a tomb of grime and stench, stashed among a vast catacomb of entombed rotting bodies.

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Paramount Pictures

The Three-Line Set-up: After making his way from the chamber where he awakens, Travis in is near zero gravity and able to float about the cavernous ship, which has an organic, albeit gruesome look and feel. He enters a large circular room with an odd set of apparatus suspended from the domed ceiling. They are space suits and one is occupied, eventually leading to his recapture where he is dragged along a long corridor strewn with bits of human collectables, such as dolls, eyeglasses, books, shoes and more before being laid upon a table and secured by a wet, skin-like cloth.

Paramount Pictures
Paramount Pictures

The Four-Line Moment: These aliens are ruthless, cold, and clearly without emotions that we are familiar with and look upon humans as mere organisms for experimentation. Travis is rendered immobile by this thick skin and two holes are cut open by one of the creatures, one over an eye and the other for the mouth. Other aliens join and affix small mechanical parts to Walton’s eye and into his throat as a set of ominous looking tools lower from the white haze above. Travis howls in horror. (Warning: Clip contains scenes of simulated torture.)

The Five-Word Review: Believe or not, it’s freaky.


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Director: Robert Lieberman

Writers: Travis Walton (book), Tracy Tormé

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