AWAKE is a new thriller on Netflix starring Francesca Eastwood and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The story features the hunt for a serial killer and it starts out really well. It’s not that the ending is bad, but it doesn’t hold up too well either. Read more in our Awake (2019) review here!

Awake (2019) is a new serial killer thriller on Netflix. The movie is called Wake Up when you look it up on IMDb, but on Netflix, you’ll find it under the new title Awake.

The thriller stars Francesca Eastwood and Jonathan Rhys Meyers in lead roles but also has a pretty awesome supporting cast. The serial killer plot works well on many levels, but the ending of this movie does let it down a bit. You should have no problem understanding the ending, but it does feel rather forced.

Read more in our full Awake review below.


Read our review of the new Netflix thriller Awake (2021) starring Gina Rodriguez >

Two strong leads

Jonathan Rhys Meyers spends most of Awake not remembering who he is. When he is told that he’s a serial killer, he can’t quite believe this, so obviously he escapes the hospital (and police) to figure out what’s going on. Before the movie is over, you will know exactly what the truth is, so Awake isn’t a movie that leaves you hanging.

Many genre fans will probably recognize Jonathan Rhys Meyers from the title role in the Dracula TV series (2013-2014) or the thriller mystery Black Butterfly co-starring Antonio Banderas. Also, he was all kinds of brilliant in the WW2 history thriller The 12th Man (2017).

Sharing most scenes with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, we have Francesca Eastwood, who works really well in this movie. At first, I found her character a bit annoying since she reacted in ways I found very unrealistic. However, through some simple storytelling, we get insights that explain her reactions.

Francesca Eastwood has done quite a lot of genre movies recently. She was in The Vault (2017) and also starred in M.F.A. (2017) which I really enjoyed.

Don’t miss: Our review of the thriller M.F.A. here >

She doesn’t get quite as much to work with in this movie, but still does an impressive job.

Awake Netflix Thriller Review

A plot with many cool supporting characters

You will no doubt try to guess how everything is connected. The story works just fine for the most part, but I have to admit we had guessed key elements of the plot within a very short time span. We just had to wait for it to play out as expected from that point on – and it did. Still, we were definitely entertained. Mostly due to the solid cast.

Working alongside Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Francesca Eastwood (yes, she is the Clint’s daughter), we have a lot of supporting actors in mostly cool roles. We have William Forsythe as the local sheriff. To me, William Forsythe has played the villain so many times that I always assume he’s somehow evil. Don’t let that fool you though.

In case the name doesn’t ring a bell, the face surely will. William Forsythe has been in movies like The Devil’s Rejects (2005) where he also played the sheriff, and the 2007 Halloween movie. Both directed by Rob Zombie. Also, he’s J. Edgar Hoover in The Man in the High Castle TV series and serial killer John Wayne Gacy in the 2010 movie Dear Mr. Gacy.

James Austin Kerr plays the son of the sheriff in another small key role while Malik Yabo plays another supporting character. He’s an FBI agent working with the sheriff to catch the very active serial killer.

Watch Awake (2019) on Netflix now!

Aleksandr Chernyaev is the director of Awake according to IMDb. This is his first English-language movie but he does have a few feature films on his resume prior to this one. According to Netflix (and the credits in the actual movie), there is an additional director named Fedor Lyass. On IMDb, Fedor Lyass only has two short film credits as a director.

The script was written by Elana Zeltser and this is the first feature film screenplay from her. The story is really engaging and I would definitely like to see what comes next from Elana Zeltser. Preferably something with a tighter ending that doesn’t feel quite as forced – even if it was very entertaining.

If you enjoy watching thrillers and stories about serial killers, then I would absolutely recommend checking out Awake on Netflix. I doubt it will disappoint even if it isn’t your new favorite movie.

AWAKE (2019) is out on Netflix in the US, Canada, the UK, and Australia from November 24, 2019.


Directors: Fedor Lyass, Aleksandr Chernyaev
Writer: Elana Zeltser
Stars: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Francesca Eastwood, William Forsythe, Malik Yoba, James Austin Kerr, Jeremy Parr


After an accident leaves him with no recollection of who he is, a man becomes a prime suspect in the search for a serial killer targeting young women.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard