Fire in the Sky Blu-ray Review: A Compelling Story

Even with news of UFOs and UAPs in the pages of The New York Times and in the halls of Congress, those who have claimed to have experienced alien contact and/or abduction are some of the most scrutinized and criticized experiencers in the world. Many people like to write them off as being crazy or just looking for attention. But when your whole life is forever changed by something from out of this world, and the attention you receive is more negative than positive, more ridicule than fame, many experiencers just wish their lives could return to normal. 

One of the most famous of these experiences occurred on November 5th, 1975 and serves as the basis for the film Fire in the Sky, which is based on the book The Walton Experience by Travis Walton. While the film did not do the business it hoped to do at the box office, it became a cult classic. And now Shout! Factory has brought the 1993 film to Blu-ray with new special features.

The film tells the story of Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) and five of his friends and coworkers (Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Paul Berg, Henry Thomas, Bradley Gregg) who, on their way back from a day clearing trees in the White Mountains of Arizona, came upon a UFO. When Travis gets out of the truck to investigate further, he is struck down by something from the ship and thought dead. His friends take off to get help, but when they return he is gone. Law enforcement doesn’t buy the UFO story and suspects the others of foul play. But then, five days after the incident, Travis is found naked, alone, and suffering from PTSD.  And while Travis may have returned, his life is far from returning to normal.

While Fire in the Sky is a story about UFO experiencers, it is about more than that. It is a story about how difficult it can be to live through an extraordinary event and be judged by those around you. How a group of people who claim to love thy neighbor have a difficult time when their neighbors no longer fit their understanding of the world.

While the ending of the film left something to be desired, I really love the rest of the film. The acting is strong and it is a compelling story that shows Travis’s experiences as well as those who were left behind. The lack of CGI and the use of mostly practical effects are just so enjoyable. And because they are practical effects, it helps the overall film not to feel dated. 

The special features on the Blu-ray are:

  • A new 4K scan from the original camera negative 
  • A new interview with director Robert Lieberman
  • Interview with actor D.B. Sweeney
  • Interview with actor Robert Patrick
  • Interview with composer Mark Isham
  • Photo gallery
  • The original theatrical trailer

These are great special features and the interviews really add layers to better understanding the filmmaking process as well as the overall watching experience. 

Fire in the Sky has a runtime of 109 minutes and is presented in 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (2.39:1). The new Fire in the Sky Blu-ray is available now from Shout! Factory.

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Darcy Staniforth

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