Fire in the Sky (Blu-ray Review)


The Film
The Video
The Audio
The Supplements


'Fire in the Sky' recounts the true story of Travis Walton, a man who was abducted by aliens and experimented on after he and his co-workers encountered a UFO in the woods in 1975.

Fire in the Sky is the small 1993 biographical fantasy film based on the novel The Walton Experience by Travis Walton. In 1975, logger Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) and his co-workers encounter a UFO in the forest. Although the rest of his co-workers can flee, Travis, who steps out of their pickup truck, is abducted by the craft in a beam of light and left behind by his co-workers. Missing for five days, the rest of the mean now become the subject of suspicion and a criminal investigation. Eventually Travis reappears and begins to remember the terrible experiments and tortures he was put under by alien creatures that took him.

Whether you believe in alien visits, UFOs, and abductions or not, Fire in the Sky, purportedly all a true story, plays like a rather good horror film for at least 2/3 of the film. There are superb visual atmospherics and visual effects that look beyond the film’s budget courtesy of Industrial Light & Magic, doing their thing. This all comes together in the scene aboard the UFO, which is very reminiscent of The X-Files, which also debuted the same year as this film. Given the filmmakers came from the world of television, it’s not surprising there would be that sort of feel. The weakest spot of the film is the somewhat rushed feeling ending that tries to tidy up the plotlines in a few minutes and give happy endings.

Go into this expecting a B-level sci-fi horror and you will enjoy the ride, especially with the solid acting from cast members Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Peter Berg, and Henry Thomas among others.

The Video

This edition of Fire in the Sky is taken from a new 4K scan from the original camera negative and comes to Blu-ray in an AVC 1080p encodement framed at 2.39:1. This film has arguably never looked better than on this home video release. Detail is crisp, film grain looks organic and thinly layered with very little manipulation. It has the “gritty” appearance I expect from this sort of Super 35 film stock, even as some scenes, especially the finale, appear to have a little bit more grain suppression than others. Still, the transfer is quite consistent and appealing, with rich colors and excellent shadow details that have nuance and lack crush.

The Audio

Fire in the Sky gets an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix that is very good. It is lush with atmospherics, has good extension into the low end to support the effects, such as during the abduction scene, where there is ample low-end rumble, and lots of solid effects in the surround channels. The early scene with the guys rushing back to town in the pickup truck has good roar in the engine and panning activity.

The Supplements

Shout! Factory includes a well rounded selection of cast and crew interviews plus the usual photo gallery and trailer. An audio commentary would have been great for this one, but the director interview is a nice substitute.

  • Interviews (1080p):
    • Director Robert Lieberman (00:26:20)
    • Actor D.B. Sweeney (00:15:19)
    • Actor Robert Patrick (00:11:11)
    • Composer Mark Isham (00:11:41)
  • Photo Gallery (1080p)
  • Theatrical Trailer (1080p)

The Final Assessment

One of the often-forgotten cult classics from the ‘90s that managed to tap into the zeitgeist of the era, this film looks better than it ever has and still holds up. Shout! provides an awesome restoration for this film, well worth owning.

Fire in the Sky is out on Blu-ray June 21, 2022 from Shout! Factory

  • Rating Certificate: PG-13 (for sci-fi violence)
  • Studios & Distributors: Paramount Pictures | Scream Factory | Shout! Factory
  • Director: Robert Lieberman
  • Written By: Travis Walton (book “The Walton Experience”) | Tracy Tormé (screenplay)
  • Run Time: 109 Mins.
  • Street Date: 21 June 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: AVC 1080p
  • Primary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 5.1
  • Secondary Audio: English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Stereo
  • Subtitles: English SDH

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'Fire in the Sky' recounts the true story of Travis Walton, a man who was abducted by aliens and experimented on after he and his co-workers encountered a UFO in the woods in 1975. Fire in the Sky (Blu-ray Review)
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