It's been thirty years since triffids have been cultivated as a new source of renewable fuel, thus saving the planet from global warming. Dr. Bill Mason (Dougray Scott) is the son of Dennis Mason (Brian Cox), the scientist responsible for genetically modifying the plants all those years ago. Mason works at one of the triffid refineries and is convinced that the mobile plants are able to communicate with one another. One day a protestor breaks in to the facility and in the scuffle Mason is stung by one of the plants. He's rushed to the hospital where there's only a 50/50 chance he'll regain his site.
That night, there is a spectacle of solar flares in the atmosphere and the world is watching. Unfortunately, the radiation blinds everyone who was looking at it, so when Mason wakes up in the hospital and is able to see, he sees all these blind people wandering about.
Electricity was the only thing keeping the cultivated triffids on the farms and when that goes, they begin to escape and find that blind humans are an easy source of meat.
On his wanderings Mason meets up with reporter Jo Playton (Joely Richardson) who also has her sight. Mason thinks he may be able to stop the triffids with the help of his father, who he hasn't seen in years. But their journey is constantly interrupted. At first they run into a sighted group at a government facility and then a do-gooder named Coker (Jason Priestley) who wants to help all the blind people. In fact, he kidnaps Mason and Playton and handcuffs them to blind people so they'll be forced to help. The creepy thug Torrence (Eddie Izzard) has joined Coker's group and secretly gains influence. He eventually betrays Coker and leaves him to die by the triffids. However, he escapes with the help of Mason and they make way to a secluded convent in the country that has seemingly made peace with the giant plants. The Mother Superior in charge (Vanessa Redgrave) says God told her how to live with them. They find out that she regularly sacrifices people to the triffids in hopes of appeasing them.
Eventually Mason makes it to his father's house, along with two orphan girls he picked up on the way. There, he's rejoined by Jo Playton, who escaped from Torrence's group. Mason's father has the idea to make the plants sterile and has bred a female plant there in his lab. But when Torrence shows up this plan goes to hell...
This is definitely the biggest budget TRIFFID movie made and I liked how these plants are made to be ferocious. They are sort of reptilian in the way their roots move. But it seems that these creatures are definitely on the back-burner, with the story focusing on all these different factions of survivors. I liked the first two adaptation of the Wyndham novel better. Although it's most different from the original novel, I like the 1962 version the best.