Monday, July 13, 2009
Day 171: Fire in the Sky (1993) - Rank 2.5/5
The main appeal for me when it came to selecting this film was the commercials and trailers for it absolutely creeped me out as a kid. Perhaps this was partly due to the fact that alien abduction nightmares regularly haunted my dreams as a kid. That, or it was simply effective marketing. Strangely enough, I totally got into "The X-Files" when it came out seven months later. Knowing that piece of information, I can't help but wonder if this film was responsible for piquing the interest of the general public enough to make the Fox show viable.
"Fire int he Sky" is a retelling of the abduction of Travis Walton in Arizona, 1975. We kick off with Travis' logging buddies telling Sheriff Watters (James Garner) what transpired. Nobody believes the crew and soon the whole town turns against Travis' friends under the assumption that they killed him. The primary focus of all this small-town paranoia is Travis' best friend Mike Waters (Robert Patrick). Mike mopes about with occasional, irate outbursts until Travis finally is returned, with no rhyme or reason, but clearly disturbed.
The film was an interesting watch from a "recreation" point of view. Travis' big-budget flashbacks to the alien ship are silly at first, until the aliens begin to experiment on him. Since there are so many unknown chemicals being poured onto or into him as surreal gadgetry is attached, the scene is pretty terrifying. However, I felt like the rest of the film progressed at a near-death march pace to make you earn this payoff. The internal torment Mike Waters experiences for abandoning his friend should come into play somewhere, but I feel like I was bashed over the head with this subplot. Yeah, I get it - he regrets leaving his friend behind! Now enough with the pathos and show me some aliens cutting a dude open!
Watch the Trailer