Down 14,382 this week

The Trigger Effect (1996)

R  |   |  Drama, Thriller  |  30 August 1996 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.6/10 from 4,676 users  
Reviews: 58 user | 23 critic

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... See full summary »



(television series Connections),
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video


Fall TV: 15 Returning TV Shows Worth Binge Watching

Which returning shows do we recommend binging on? We've picked out 15 great options for you. Read this and more lists in our Fall TV section.

Read our list

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 09 Jan 2011
a list of 25 titles
created 24 May 2011
a list of 27 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 41 titles
created 10 months ago
a list of 40 titles
created 9 months ago

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The Trigger Effect (1996)

The Trigger Effect (1996) on IMDb 5.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Trigger Effect.



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl's ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.

Director: David Koepp
Stars: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 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
Palmetto (1998)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A recently released ex-con gets involved in a fake kidnapping scheme that turns very real.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Elisabeth Shue, Gina Gershon
Link (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A zoology student must try to out smart a murderous and super-intelligent orangutan.

Director: Richard Franklin
Stars: Terence Stamp, Elisabeth Shue, Steven Pinner
White Sands (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A small southwestern town sheriff finds a body in the desert with a suitcase and $500,000. He impersonates the man and stumbles into an FBI investigation.

Director: Roger Donaldson
Stars: Willem Dafoe, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Mickey Rourke
Masquerade (1988)
Mystery | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

A recently orphaned millionairess, Olivia, really hates her scheming step-father. Olivia finds love with a young yacht racing captain, Tim, who isn't completely truthful with her. When the ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Swaim
Stars: Rob Lowe, Meg Tilly, Kim Cattrall
Phoenix (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A cop (Liotta) with a gambling addiction plots a theft from the bookies who are putting pressure on him to pay off or else.

Director: Danny Cannon
Stars: Ray Liotta, Anthony LaPaglia, Daniel Baldwin
All Falls Down (Video 2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.3/10 X  
Director: David Koepp
Stars: Carolyn Ratteray, Dequina Moore, Keisha Trim
Suspense (TV Movie 2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 1.2/10 X  
Director: David Koepp
Stars: Dennis Hopper, Patrick Barnitt, Stephen Holland
Radio Inside (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 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
Suspicious (1994)
Short | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2.8/10 X  
Director: David Koepp
Stars: Janeane Garofalo, Bob Batt, Stephen Blake
Complex World (1992)
Comedy | Musical | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Terrorists, political conspiracy, drugs and bad music. Just another night at the Heartbreak hotel.

Director: Jim Wolpaw
Stars: Stanley Matis, Margo Dionne, Allen Oliver


Cast overview, first billed only:
Tori Kristiansen ...
Tyra Kristiansen ...
Edhem Barker ...
Trendy German Guy
Tripping Guy
Hand Holding Guy
Monica Torres ...
Hand Holding Girl
Double Date Guy
Kerri Vickers ...
Double Date Girl


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 rifle 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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


When Nothing Works, Anything Goes.


Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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




Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der große Stromausfall - Eine Stadt im Ausnahmezustand  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$1,887,791 (USA) (30 August 1996)


$3,594,848 (USA) (27 September 1996)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The story is inspired by the classic The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "The Monsters Are Due On Maple Street," which depicts the denizens of the street slowly becoming crazy after a power failure. In fact, in the film's production notes, Matthew and Annie live on the corner of Maple and Willoughby (another classic TZ episode, "A Stop At Willoughby"), obvious allusions to "The Twilight Zone". See more »


As evidenced in the movie after the electrical system breakdown, all sources of power were shut down and unresponsive, including the radio vehicles yet one police radio can be heard with the command central dispatching orders from time to time. See more »


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


Composed & Arranged by Greg De Belles (as Greg DeBelles)
Performed & Produced by Greg De Belles (as Greg DeBelles)
Courtesy of Klektik Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Great idea, very VERY poorly executed
23 February 2004 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

I was one of the people who ended up "hating" this movie and wishing it weren't so. As others have said, it's an "important" concept - how would YOU behave in this oh-too-probably situation, but it was so poorly executed. All of the characters in this movie were sooooooo unpleasant, so unlikeable. Are all middle-class Americans really like this? Somehow I doubt it. With a good director and better actors - and let's face it, has Elisabeth Shue ever done any movie where she gets to keep her clothes on - this could have been much better than the 'C' grade crap that it ultimately became.

33 of 47 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Elisabeth Shue showing her nipple in the DVD version victorids
Did Matt find out Annie's infidelity? remadri2000
A very important movie, in light of Katrina... ashestwoashes2000
The opening sequence scumoftheearth
This films needs to be rediscovered remadri2000
cigarettes calamari-fritti
Discuss The Trigger Effect (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: