Fire in the Sky (1993)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great looking movie

Story development is so-so

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fire in the Sky

Studio:  Paramount Pictures

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Drama/Horror

Release Date(s):  March 12, 1993

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


That’s right…get ready to get probed!!!

On November 5, 1975 in Snowflake, Arizona, a group of lumberjacks came down from the woods with an unbelievable story.  Mike Rogers (Robert Patrick) and the other men claimed to have seen an unidentified flying object in a clearing.  The UFO struck Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney), and Walton disappeared when they fled.  Lieutenant Frank Watters (James Garner) is called in to investigate the loggers story and find the missing Walton.  Accusations begin to fly and the men’s story comes into question by the town, but when Travis Walton is found alive five days later, the real horror is revealed.


Hey guys, let’s fly over to Saturn for dinner after this

Directed by Robert Lieberman, Fire in the Sky is an adaptation of Travis Walton’s book The Walton Experience from 1978 (which was republished as Fire in the Sky).  The film was met with mixed reviews but positive reviews for its special effects.  Since its release, the movie has gained a cult following.

I was a big fan of UFOs and stories of alien abductions when I was little.  I always thought they were scarier than horror films simply because of the unknown real-life factor…could it be true?  I knew Travis Walton’s story from some TV special I had seen and found it horrifying…with that in mind, I do find Fire in the Sky pretty frightening as well.



The real weakness of the movie is the story.  With no real solution to the problem, it is hard to craft a movie around it.  You aren’t going to know for certain if Walton was abducted or not.  With that in mind, the story accidentally divides itself.  It could have been about the town, press, and Watters thinking that Rogers and the other loggers are lying about what happened to Walton, or it could be about the abduction itself.  It doesn’t end up feeling like the two halves of the story jive together as one whole.

The acting is quite strong.  D.B. Sweeney is good as the optimistic Walters who is put through one of the worst tortures in movies.  Robert Patrick as the lumberjack who abandons his friend is also good.  Chris Carter has allegedly said that Patrick’s performance in Fire in the Sky led him to cast him as Agent Doggett in The X-Files.  James Garner’s character is problematic.  He’s great like normal, but he just comes off as a bit of a jerk (though in reality he’s probably right in reality).


Why does this happen every time I go camping!!!

The movie has great visuals.  The alien abduction scene still is creepy and unnerving.  The fact that the character is helpless, touched, and violated is like watching a rape scene.  The design of the ship and aliens also received praise from people who study UFOs for its accuracy according to reports.

Fire in the Sky is a rather entertaining movie, though it has a lot of faults.  It is worth seeking out if you are a fan of the subject, but also the drama comes off as a bit of a horror film.  If you want an intense sequence, the examination scene makes this movie worth watching.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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