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

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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
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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 »
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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

[Her husband and Joe are arguing.]
Annie: Boys, if you can't play nice, we're not gonna have any more of these little sleepovers.
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Soundtracks

Blood, Guts & Firetrucks
Written by Wesley Willis, Dave Nooks, Pat Barnard, Brandon Murphy (as Brendan Murphy) & Dale Meiners
Performed by The Wesley Willis Fiasco (as Wesley Willis Fiasco)
Courtesy of Urban Legends Records
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User Reviews

 
A Great Start that Slowly Goes Nowhere
27 July 2004 | by caspian1978See all my reviews

The opening sequence of how other people effect the flow of our natural day opens up the idea to the audience that like the Trigger Effect, other people during the course of our "normal" days can end up making us go crazy and even doing some drastic stuff. The Trigger Effect opens up "Touch of Evil" style with a wonderful sequence of no name actors who end up playing a huge role on the story line of what the Trigger Effect is. Almost by mistake, we are brought into the lives of the main characters, and from there the story begins. The movie holds some amazing moments and some excellent scenes with the 3 leads. Still, the movie falls short with an ending, nobody wanted to see. A thriller that builds and builds and builds and goes nowhere. The struggle between the characters grow and then end up going off on a detour and nothing else. Sad, the movie could have been a timeless story how the slightest things in our day could end up killing ourselves if not killing others. The story was terrific and could have been an excellent movie. But overall, the movie is worth watching just for the moments it has.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Italian | 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 »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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