12. Fire In The Sky
Fire in the Sky came at the zeitgeist of the ‘90s UFO mania. Remember in the ‘90s when every TV show, movie, book and magazine was about being abducted by aliens. Think X-Files, the alien autopsy tape and Independence Day.
The movie tells the story of Travis Walton, a real-life abductee who is still very active on the UFO circuit. Walton claims he was abducted in 1978 and he’s been making a living from that claim ever since.
Fire in the Sky is the story of that fateful abduction. After Walton disappears during a close encounter, his friends report the incident to the authorities, but suspicion immediately falls on them. The group desperately try to convince the authorities that they aren’t guilty of any crime, but when Walton returns after five days, the doubt grows deeper.
It’s in the isolation of not being believed that we find an unsettling empathy with these characters. This is most acutely so in the case of Walton himself; who, traumatized to breaking, eventually relives the abduction in a flashback.
The flashback is the most enduring and disturbing sequence of the movie. We have never seen a more pitiless group of alien abductees on screen. They show no compassion towards their subject as they brutalize the naked and helpless Walton, force cold steel and slime into his throat and penetrate his flesh. Walton is clearly nothing more than an object to them.
The tools they use, the way they move and the room they’re in are all truly alien. The sequence is deeply upsetting and almost thirty years on still stands out in its painful depiction of alien abduction.