The Trigger Effect

Watch The Trigger Effect

"When Nothing Works, Anything Goes."
  • R
  • 1996
  • 1 hr 34 min
  • 5.7  (8,072)
  • 66

The Trigger Effect is a 1996 thriller directed by David Koepp and starring Kyle MacLachlan, Elisabeth Shue, and Dermot Mulroney. The film explores the eerie aftermath of a power outage that plunges a suburban town into darkness and chaos. The story begins with Matthew (Kyle MacLachlan) and Annie (Elisabeth Shue), a married couple who have just returned home after a night out. As they settle down for the night, their power suddenly goes out, leaving them in complete darkness. At first, they assume it's a temporary outage, but as the hours pass and they hear reports of the power being out across a wider area and with no end in sight, they begin to worry.

Along with their young daughter, they try to make the best of the situation, but as time goes on, they realize how much they rely on technology and the conveniences it provides. Their food spoils without a refrigerator, their water supply dwindles without running water, and they are unable to communicate with the outside world without electricity.

As the situation worsens, Matthew and Annie decide to venture out to a nearby convenience store, where they encounter a group of strangers who are also dealing with the blackout. Among them is Joe (Dermot Mulroney), a charismatic man who seems to have a solution for every problem. Joe's presence is both reassuring and unsettling, and not everyone in the group trusts him.

As the days pass and the town descends into chaos, the characters are forced to confront their own fears and morality. Matthew becomes more and more paranoid, convinced that their neighbors are out to steal their supplies. Annie finds herself drawn to Joe, much to Matthew's frustration. And Joe becomes increasingly controlling, leading the group down a dangerous path.

The Trigger Effect is a tense, thought-provoking film that explores the fragility of society and the dangers of relying too heavily on technology. The film is carried by strong performances from its lead actors, particularly Kyle MacLachlan, who conveys Matthew's descent into paranoia with conviction. Elisabeth Shue is also effective as Annie, bringing a sense of vulnerability to her character's struggles. And Dermot Mulroney is suitably creepy as Joe, a man who proves to be both a savior and a villain.

The film is notable for its realism, depicting the breakdown of society in a way that feels frighteningly plausible. The power outage serves as a metaphor for the fragility of social order, and the characters are forced to confront the darker aspects of human nature as they struggle to survive. The film is also visually striking, using shadow and darkness to create a sense of unease and tension.

In conclusion, The Trigger Effect is a compelling thriller that explores the darker side of human nature in the face of societal collapse. Its realistic portrayal of a power outage serves as a warning about the dangers of relying too heavily on technology, and its strong performances and taut direction make it a must-see for fans of the genre.

The Trigger Effect is a 1996 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 34 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.7 and a MetaScore of 66.

The Trigger Effect
Where to Watch The Trigger Effect
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 34 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.7  (8,072)
  • Metascore