Monday, 8 May 2017

The Trigger Effect

The Trigger Effect
1996, USA
dir. David Koepp
cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Elisabeth Shue, Dermot Mulroney
IMDB Trailer

A middle class, suburban couple struggle to cope with a mysterious power blackout. As this stretches on for days, civilisation begins to crumble, panic breaks out and looting begins. After a neighbour shoots dead a youth who had burgled their house, they decide to leave the city for family in the country, but after they are robbed of their car, they take desperate measures to try and survive.
Starting out  with a trip to the movies, which subtly underscores our dependence on technology, and building to the blackout itself (a great shot pans out from the bedroom where Shue's character reads her child a nursery rhyme about an ill wind, over the house to the cityscape which slowly darkens), the film stumbles a bit further in as too much time is given to a love triangle and the happy ending is a bit too pat. It's still an interesting look at how people cope when the lights go out, and there's an interesting class tension between MacLachlan and his more practical, working class friend Mulrony. The two men decide they need a gun and MacLachlan automatically assumes his friend is better at violence than he is. British science writer James Burke gets a co-writing credit, as the film was inspired by an episode of his Connections TV series.

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