In the film, a family of five known as the Freelings lives in idyllic suburbia – or so they think. Strange things begin to occur in the house shortly after their cherubic 5-year-old daughter (Heather O’Rourke) begins receiving communication from someone she refers to as the “TV people” through the static on their television set. Their pet bird dies, furniture begins to move on its own, and other such oddities, but things take a turn for the deadly for the family when the tree outside their home seemingly becomes animated and threatens to engulf the middle child (Oliver Robins) into its wooden maw. The boy is saved, but their young daughter ends up missing, ostensibly stolen into another dimension by forces unknown, although she is able to still communicate through the television. The family enlists the services of a group of parapsychologists to investigate the strange phenomena, and hopefully get back their beloved daughter, but the forces that currently dominate the house prove to be much stronger than anything they’ve ever seen before. Tobe Hooper directs this Steven Spielberg production.
The people of Earth are visited and befriended by a human-like race from outer space inhabiting massive spacecraft, 50 of them measuring three miles in diameter, hovering over cities throughout the world. These newcomers speak Earth’s languages fluently, though they have distinct electronic-sounding voices and are so sensitive to light that they frequently wear sunglasses. They’re called the Visitors by the people of Earth. They’ve come to our planet for resources that we can manufacture for their people to survive in exchange for their vast knowledge of technology and medicine. They become celebrities welcomed by humans worldwide.
Manufacturing ramps up while the Visitors take over media outlets, shaping public opinion for their cause against the world’s scientists and any others who might figure out how to stop their domination, registering them to track their whereabouts, and imposing their influence upon the world. Revealed within the tale is that the Visitors are a race of carnivorous reptilians donning elaborate human disguises to suck the Earth completely dry of its water and to harvest humans for food. Kenneth Johnson writes, directs, and produces. Marc Singer, Faye Grant, and Jane Badler star.