Ambiguous is a very good word to describe the movie Communion. As are nebulous, circumspect, vague, inconclusive and confusing. However that is the entire point of the film. It doesn't provide a definitive answer because to this day, author Whitley Strieber, who's personal experiences the movie is based on, doesn't have one. Was he abducted? If so by whom and for what reason? Who can say? Communion is not so much a study of the abduction phenomenon but more of an exploration of coming to terms with an unquantifiable experience. There is a strong religious subtext to the proceedings as the title implies. Strieber did not automatically assume that the "visitors" were extraterrestrial and has been very careful to use neutral terms to describe them.
Communion is defined and driven by the performance of Christopher Walken. As ever he is both eccentric and compelling. He seems determined to paint Whitley Strieber as a New York Bohemian. In reality the author looks more like an accountant. However the film works best when depicting Walken's mental collapse and the strain it put's upon his family. The abduction and subsequent flash backs are purposely stylised, giving them a dreamlike quality. The special effects are not supposed to show us living, breathing entities but caricatures. We do not see them for what they are but as how Strieber's mind interprets them. The "visitors" are wearing masks, hiding their true identities, which is a recurring theme within the narrative.
Does Communion work as a movie? Yes, although it stumbles along the way and revels a little too much in its own ambiguity. It does however tackle some very interesting questions and highlights that abduction experiences are not as black and white as some people on both sides of the debate seem to think. If you watch this movie expecting a traditional abduction account then you may be better off watching Fire in the Sky. Communion is a far more philosophical undertaking. It raises far more questions than it answers but that is Whitley Strieber's entire point. Sometimes it's not about getting answers but how we deal with the fact that there may not be any satisfactory one. The movies conclusion seems to be that agnosticism is by far the wisest default position.