5.7/10
5,813
65 user 28 critic

The Trigger Effect (1996)

Trailer
1:58 | Trailer
A blackout leaves those affected to consider what is necessary, what is legal, and what is questionable, in order to survive in a predatory environment.

Director:

David Koepp

Writers:

James Burke (television series Connections), David Koepp

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Don McKay (2009)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

Don McKay, a high school janitor who leaves his hometown after a tragedy, returns 25 years later to rekindle a romance with his old flame, who is dying, but this homecoming brings McKay more than he bargained for.

Director: Jake Goldberger
Stars: Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue, Melissa Leo
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

A recovering gambling addict attempts to reconcile with his family and friends but finds trouble and temptation when caught between feelings for his ex-wife and her dangerous hoodlum boyfriend.

Director: Steven Soderbergh
Stars: Peter Gallagher, Elisabeth Shue, Alison Elliott
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A mother of two sons finds life considerably difficult on her own after the death of her beloved husband. Due to debt she must move them to Baltimore, and deal with the hardships and all ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Brickman
Stars: Jessica Lange, Kathy Bates, Arliss Howard
Radio Inside (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A year after their pious dad's death, just graduated bright, erudite but distracted Matt Anderson, an angelic dreamer who talks with dad's ghost and phones with his confident God, moves in ... See full summary »

Director: Jeffrey Bell
Stars: William McNamara, Elisabeth Shue, Dylan Walsh
Unforgettable (1996)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A medical examiner, who was suspected of murdering his wife, is trying an experimental drug to retrieve his wife's and others' memory and maybe find the killer and the mass murderer in a related present case.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Ray Liotta, Linda Fiorentino, Peter Coyote
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A washed up, alcoholic actress who is prone to blackouts wakes up next to a murdered man. Did she kill him and, if not, is she in danger?

Director: Sidney Lumet
Stars: Jane Fonda, Jeff Bridges, Raul Julia
Adventure | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Rafting expert Gail takes on a pair of armed killers while navigating a spectacularly violent river.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn
The Temp (1993)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Nice guy junior exec Peter doesn't play dirty but unfortunately, some of his colleagues do. In comes Kris, his new temp, who is bright and efficient and saves him. She's willing to play dirty for Peter.

Director: Tom Holland
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Lara Flynn Boyle, Dwight Schultz
Kill Me Again (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young detective becomes involved with a beautiful woman on the run from the mob and her psychopath boyfriend.

Director: John Dahl
Stars: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Pat Mulligan
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

Based on the novels by Jack Higgins, Kyle MacLachlan stars as maverick British agent Sean Dillon to uncover a plot to take over the presidency of the United States.

Director: George Mihalka
Stars: Kyle MacLachlan, Macha Grenon, Chris Wiggins
Harrinator (2017)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Everyone knows the "Harrinator". A tough ice-hockey crack, famously witty, irresistible with the ladies, as cool as they come. At least that is what he thinks. Everyone else would disagree.... See full summary »

Director: Andreas Schmied
Stars: Jürgen Maurer, Julia Cencig, Andreas Lust
All Falls Down (Video 2004)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  

Sing All Falls Down in the Style of "Kanye West & Syleena Johnson". Stingray Karaoke R&B/Hip-Hop, Rap, 2004, English, Key Ebm.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Carolyn Ratteray, Dequina Moore, Keisha Trim
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kyle MacLachlan ... Matthew
Elisabeth Shue ... Annie Kay
Dermot Mulroney ... Joe
Richard T. Jones ... Raymond
Bill Smitrovich ... Steph
Michael Rooker ... Gary
Tori Kristiansen Tori Kristiansen ... Sarah
Tyra Kristiansen Tyra Kristiansen ... Sarah
Rick Worthy ... Johnny
Edhem Barker Edhem Barker ... Trendy German Guy
Tyrone Tann ... Tripping Guy
David O'Donnell ... Hand Holding Guy
Monica Torres Monica Torres ... Hand Holding Girl
Greg Grunberg ... Double Date Guy
Kerri Vickers Kerri Vickers ... Double Date Girl
Edit

Storyline

How tenuous is man's hold on civilization when survival becomes an issue? When the lights go out and stay out for several days, suburbanites Matthew and Annie learn the hard way that man is "by nature" a predatory creature. Matthew's long-time friend, Joe, happens by on the second day and a rivalry between the two friends simmers as Annie cares for her sick baby. When rumors of looting spread through the neighborhood, the two men buy a shotgun for protection but Annie throws it in the pool. Later, that same night, Joe hears a prowler downstairs and awakens Matthew. They chase the stranger from the house and out into the street where a neighbor shoots him to death. No longer safe in their own home, they decide to drive to Annie's parents some 500 miles away. Before they reach their destination, more trouble comes their way when they stop to siphon gas from an abandoned car and discover the driver in the back seat... Is this what is meant by "man's inhumanity to man?" Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When Nothing Works, Anything Goes.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Trigger Effect See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,887,791, 2 September 1996

Gross USA:

$3,622,979

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,622,979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Another source of inspiration for this movie came from the first episode of the television series, Connections (1978), hosted by a co-Writer of this movie, James Burke. The episode is called Connections: The Trigger Effect (1978). See more »

Goofs

While walking up the driveway at the very end, the Steadicam operator and the boom operator are clearly visible in a reflection from the Volvo's trunk lid. See more »

Quotes

Joe: The Martians have landed. They want our women.
See more »

Connections

References Clockers (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Danger Tension
Written by Ib Glindemann (uncredited)
From 1968 Version of "Night of the Living Dead"
Courtesy of Ole Georg / Euroscreen Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Like Everyone Else Has Said
27 September 2005 | by Theo RobertsonSee all my reviews

A power blackout sweeps across America leading to fear which slowly manifests itself into suspicion : Who will you be able to trust if the lights don't come back on ? That's the idea behind THE TRIGGER EFFECT , a film that on the surface resembles the plot of a novel by John Wyndham or John Christopher but as so very , very many people on this page have screamed from the roof tops this isn't a movie that makes the best of a great idea

The film starts with a sequence that can best be described as " Robert Altman directing the opening shot of SUPERMAN 3 " which is meant as a compliment to Robert Koepp . as the story continues we're quickly introduced to the characters of Matthew and Annie Kay who have a baby . They're visited by their friend Joe and then disaster strikes when the electricity runs out and shows no signs of returning . Get ready for danger

On second thoughts don't get ready for danger . There's something about this scenario that I can't quite pout my finger on . Maybe it's to do with the scenario which is credible but the actions of the characters aren't . Would a long lasting power cut lead to the collapse of civilization as we know it ? Possibly since everyone went on a looting rampage during the New York blackout of the late 1970s and let us not forget the mass panic caused by reports of rapes , murders and other assorted evil after Hurricane Katrina but even so I was not convinced that a power cut would lead to a post apocalypse scenario , it's not like the population has been rendered blind by a meteorite shower ( DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS ) or a worldwide famine is in progress ( THE DEATH OF GRASS ) or a nuclear war has happened ( Insert your most depressing Nuclear holocaust movie here ) . Perhaps I should point out that THE TRIGGER EFFECT probably isn't a post apocalypse type movie so if you're expecting 28 DAYS LATER you're in for a rude awakening , this is more of a slow burning drama where characters seem to be making mountains out of mole hills . By trying to be realistic it ends up being unrealistic . I'm sure most people would nonchantley sit on their behinds in this type of situation rather glad that their quarterly electricity bill would lower than usual . Hell the police are still driving around arresting people during a blackout , do you understand what I'm saying about a lack of credibility ?

I have criticised the characters but to be honest I think the problem lies with Koepp's casting more than his writing . I found Kyle Maclachlan rather wimpy as Matthew . I guess the point was that adversity can lead to wimps turning into violent anti-heroes but I was never convinced by his performance while the rest of the cast failed to make any type of impression on me at all

All in all this is a very disappointing contribution to speculative fiction . Let me just repeat that I doubt if it's intended to be an out and out grim depressing story of man fighting to survive , it's more of a drama about how reliant we are on both electricity and each other but the story never reaches its full potential which is a great shame


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 65 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series



Recently Viewed