During most of human history, a stable and civil society has existed without the benefit of electricity, but those days — as aptly and alarmingly illustrated in The Trigger Effect (1996) — are long gone. David Koepp’s R rated thriller centers around a complacent married couple: Annie (Elisabeth Shue) and Matthew (Kyle MacLachlan). The two make an ordinary excursion to the neighborhood mall, where they become links in an unsettling, but less than catastrophic, chain of negligence and rudeness that has them on edge when they return home to discover their daughter is running a fever. To make matters worse, the city plunges into a massive power blackout — shutting down appliances, commerce, and protective services. As such, Matthew must steal medicine for his girl. But as others loot and lawlessness threatens to become the norm, the couple become concerned to the point of paranoia. To feel safe, their friend Joe (Dermot Mulroney) stops in to stay with them throughout the blackout’s duration. Did we mention he brings his gun? Nevertheless, Joe’s familiarity with Annie and Matthew begins to breed a contempt that has never before seen light. As the film touches on social and sexual issues, viewers will be touching on themselves when Annie pulls down her black brassiere to seduce her disinterested hubby. Unbelievable as it seems, Mr. MacLachlan’s character has his head in the newspaper instead of on Ms. Shue’s bare breast. Elizabeth even tweaks her nip for an added bone-us. What can we say? It works for us!