31 Days of Scares- #8 ‘Fire in the Sky’ Alien Abduction

Jason McDonald

The 31 Days of Scares isn’t a countdown of the best horror movies.  In fact, it’s not even about the best movies. It’s simply about some of my favorite “scares” or scenes from horror movies and they’re in no particular order.  So there’s no need to debate countdown order. It’s pretty random.  With that said: on to the countdown!

During scare number 26 I admitted that I had two great fears: spiders and another scare to be named later. Well today is that later.  I am positively terrified by aliens.  I don’t mean Xenomorph aliens or Predators, I can handle those kind of Hollywood aliens. I’m talking about the grays or the kind that just randomly abduct people.   The kind that just silently slink into your room while you’re sleeping and snatch you away for dark purposes. Those are the kind of aliens that give me the willies.

And I’m serious about this. I would gladly deal with ghosts, demons, or any kind of monster you can dream up before even thinking about tangling with an alien entity.  And I think my rationale for this is because there are rules and procedures for when you deal with those other kind of horror movie characters.  When it comes to little green men, you’re just screwed.

Unfortunately, there  haven’t been a whole lot of great films that capture the spirit of what truly makes an alien terrifying, but a few have come really close.  I’ll admit I haven’t seen “The Fourth Kind” because that trailer made me go “Nah, son.”  It creeped me the hell out and I was actually too scared to go see it. Yes, I’m a huge wuss when it comes to aliens. I don’t know if “The Fourth Kind” is any good and I’ll probably never find out.

One film that truly freaked me out when I saw it as a kid was “Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County.”  Watching it now, it’s super cheesy, but at the time it really took me by surprise.  Imagine this: I’m in elementary school at the time and it’s Saturday night and I’m up way too late.  Suddenly this thing comes on and I decide to watch it. It’s an early found footage movie and I’m a dumb kid, so I instantly believe I’m actually watching real footage.  I was losing my damn mind by the end.  It was utterly insane.   Watching it now there are still some genuinely creepy parts, but it’s mostly a pretty cheesy found footage film.

So that brings me to the one alien abduction film that I think holds up and remains pretty unsettling despite the passage of time.  I’m talking about “Fire in the Sky.”  Before we even get to the scare, this film actually has a lot of good things going for it.  First of all it features a great cast of actors including Robert Patrick, D.B. Sweeney, Peter Berg, and the late great James Garner.  And the story itself is a good character drama about a group of people dealing with a horrible event that no one believes happened.

As for the scare, it’s a real panic inducing fright.  The scene below shows Travis shortly after the aliens have abducted him.  He’s being dragged to an operating table where he’s stripped and “tied” down by a translucent latex like material.  This whole sequence does a good job of conveying the sensation of suffocating and being completely helpless.  All Travis can do is scream and scream, but you know it doesn’t matter, he’s completely alone and at the mercy of these beings.  It’s a truly frightening moment in the film and a traumatizing moment in my life. Check it out below.


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