When nothing works, anything goes.

"Is it bad out there?"

Matthew

The Trigger Effect

Release Date: August 30, 1996

The lights go on. The television plays. The telephone rings.

Your comforts increase as you relinquish control over your life to the technology that sustains you.

One day, technology crashes. Lights go off. The TV stops playing. The phone goes dead.

Cut off from all the creature comforts that consoled you, everything is unnerving. A noise in the kitchen. The guy across the street. Your own fears.

Out for a quiet night at the movies, Matt (Kyle MacLachlan, The Flintstones) and Annie (Elisabeth Shue, Back to the Future Part II) endure a series of petty annoyances amongst the audience during the film. Among the annoyed is Raymond (Richard T. Jones).

Returning to their suburban home, Matt and Annie discover that their infant daughter has an ear infection. Matt calls the pediatrician who says he'll phone in a prescription in the morning, but during the night there is a power failure. And in the darkness, the network of support for everything on which their daily lives have come to depend begins unraveling.

Matt goes outside and finds his neighbors checking their circuits and speculating on what may have caused the outage. The next morning, the pharmacist hasn't received the prescription Matt phoned in, and won't give him the medicine. Spurred on by the increasing lawlessness, Matt steals the penicillin his daughter needs.

At home, the couple gets a surprise visit from Matt's old friend, Joe (Dermot Mulroney). Joe brings rumors about "looting and shooting" in town. They go into town to see for themselves how the system is breaking down.

With the world around them appearing more threatening, Annie invites Joe to stay with them. Joe's presence triggers tensions between the two men. The relationship between the three of them suffers further after a confrontation with a prowler turns violent. The technological island that has been their life support system no longer seems safe. They decide to leave.

On the road, an event occurs in which the lives of Annie, Matt and Joe ricochet off those of two other men fleeing into the country for survival. Fears of others create mistrust. Lives hang in the balance as a test of wills turns into a test of faith. And nothing in their comfortable suburban existence could possibly have possibly prepared Anne and Matt for this.

Amblin Entertainment and Gramercy Pictures present The Trigger Effect, the directorial debut of David Koepp (Jurassic Park). Written and directed by Koepp, the psychological thriller is produced by Michael Grillo. Walter Parkes, Laurie MacDonald and Gerald R. Molen are executive producers.

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • KYLE MACLACHLAN,
  • ELISABETH SHUE,
  • DERMOT MULRONEY,
  • RICHARD T. JONES,
  • BILL SMITROVICH,
  • MICHAEL ROOKER
DIRECTOR
  • DAVID KOEPP
SCREENWRITER
  • DAVID KOEPP
PRODUCER
  • MICHAEL GRILLO
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • NEWTON THOMAS SIGEL
PRODUCTION DESIGNER
  • HOWARD CUMMINGS
COSTUME DESIGNER
  • DANA ALLYSON
EDITOR
  • JILL SAVITT
COMPOSER
  • JAMES NEWTON HOWARD