AWAKENING THE ZODIAC (2017) Reviews and overview

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‘The deadliest killer in U.S. history… is back’

Awakening the Zodiac is a 2017 Canadian horror thriller feature film directed by Jonathan Wright (Nostrum aka Psychotica) from a screenplay written by Jennifer Archer and Mike Horrigan. The movie stars Shane West, Leslie Bibb, Matt Craven and Stephen McHattie.

A down-on-their-luck couple and their pawn shop owner friend discover 8mm film reels seemingly belonging to real-life serial killer Zodiac. They decide to take the law into their own hands, risking everything for the chance at a $100,000 reward. It isn’t long until they find themselves in the killer’s lethal cross-hairs…


“This viewer did not clue into the film’s primary secret and many other viewers will not as well. The final denouement and reveal is well crafted and obfuscated enough, to create a compelling final surprise. Also, there is a lot going on in the film and the pacing is consistently moving the story along.” 28 Days Later Analysis

Buy DVD:

Awakening the Zodiac has a worthwhile premise.  The movie is made more compelling by a cast doing an honest day’s work when few would have noticed had they just phoned it in.  But without any real surprises in store, the final phases of the middling mystery don’t have enough oomph to tie the movie together.” Culture Crypt

Awakening the Zodiac is way too flat, gimmicky, and absurd to make sense, and the thrills it provides are rare and on the low side.” Cinemarvellous!

“All in all, this is a movie I’d rent from my DVR on a Friday night after deciding to ‘try something new.’ Beautifully made. The rollercoaster equivalent of the teacups ride at Disney world (still fun, but definitely not Splash Mountain.) All it really made me do is wanna watch more True Crime stories.” Irish Film Critic


Sony Pictures Worldwide distributed the film.

Main cast:

  • Shane West (Salem; Red Sands; Dracula 2000)
  • Leslie Bibb (Hell BabyThe Midnight Meat Train; Trick ‘r Treat)
  • Matt Craven (Devil; Jacob’s Ladder; Happy Birthday to Me)
  • Stephen McHattie (Rabid 2019; The Strain; Hellmouth; et al)
  • Nicholas Campbell
  • Kenneth Welsh
  • Jason Hook
  • John Bregar
  • Eva Link
  • Jennie Esnard
  • Douglas Kidd
  • Sandra Wilson
  • Renato Vettore

Filming locations:

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Production companies:

Bunk 11 Pictures/TAJJ Media

Film Facts:

The film’s alternate title is Z.