Awakening the Zodiac – Canada, 2017 – reviews

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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…

Reviews [click links to read more]:

“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


The film’s alternate title is Z.

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3 Comments on “Awakening the Zodiac – Canada, 2017 – reviews”

  1. Sadly, I agree with the above comments made about this film being a huge disappointment. It didn’t appear to be a shoe stringed budget film, but boy, did it suck for the most part. In fact, just off the top of my head I can think of a handful of films that were made on a miniscule, micro budget but, were miles ahead in terms of writing, directing, and film making in general, in comparison to this dud.

    The talent alone that they had within this cast would have one believing this horror/thriller movie would be worth your time in watching but, again, one would be sorely mistaken in making this assumption such as I did. Especially concerning Leslie Bibb’s character, there couldn’t be more confusion surrounding this particular character?!? I mean really, WTF?!? By the end of the movie I came away feeling as though she was very much mentally challenged(and I say that in all seriousness, NOT speaking sarcastically in the least). The character was shown on such a wide sweeping scale of actions/behaviors that it left me completely befuddled by the end as to what was going on with her?!?

    This was just not at all an enjoyable viewing experience. It felt much was left to be desired..too much, IMO. I question how they got such talent to agree to this movie, unless the film was just completely remade within the editing process(it certainly wouldn’t be the first time this has happened), therefore the movie that we all viewed wasn’t the one that the actors signed on to make.

    Regardless, this is a movie I wouldn’t find myself recommending to anyone, ever.

  2. One of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Unbelievably annoying and stupid. The thought process of these characters is absolutely mind numbing. It’s cheap and I can’t believe I paid for this.

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