Ayla – USA, 2017 – reviews

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‘Obsession becomes flesh’

Ayla is a 2017 American horror fantasy film written and directed by Elias Ganster (Gut; Dead Sucks; The Horror of H.P. Lovecraft). It stars Dee WallaceBill Oberst Jr., and Tristan Risk.

The unexplained death of Elton’s four-year-old sister Ayla has left him lost and damaged since he was a boy. All throughout adulthood, he’s mourned the life with her that could have been.

Born from his need, Elton turns what lived only in mind to flesh and blood once more, a child now reborn with the body of a woman — obsession become flesh. Her name is Ayla, but they used to call her “A.”

Ayla is being released on VOD and will be available to rent and own on digital HD across U.S. cable, internet, and satellite platforms via Freestyle Digital Media on April 3, 2018.

Reviews [click links to read more]:

” …a long slog until it gets to the actual useful information and gives the characters some amount of personality. Writer/director Elias plays a lot of formal tricks that don’t really help, with hallucinations, extremely mannered dialogue and characterization…” Jay’s Movie Blog

Ayla is a dark, sometimes disturbing meditation on grief and loss. Dread and gloom permeate the film as Elias focuses on psychological horror rather than visceral shocks, and on presenting a mood piece rather than a traditional narrative. The cast all turn in solid performances…” That’s Not Current

“With a hint of supernatural touches, Ayla is an interesting, deeply sad and beautiful film. If you’re big on atmosphere and feeling, check it out, but know that Ayla is a deep film that doesn’t give the viewer all the answers.” The Indie Horror Review

Main cast:

  • Dee Wallace … Susan
  • Bill Oberst Jr. … Billy/Andy
  • Tristan Risk … Ayla
  • Nicholas Wilder … Elton
  • Andrew Sensenig … Grant – We Are Still Here; Don’t Look in the Basement 2; The Last Exorcism Part II
  • D’Angelo Midili … James
  • Sarah Schoofs … Alex
  • Darlene Sellers … Waitress
  • Gary Lee Vincent … Author [uncredited] – Lake of Shadows; Deimosimine 


Ayla premiered at the Västerås Filmfestival in Sweden on 21 September 2017. It has been shown at film festivals in Australia, Canada, Germany, Mexico, and the USA since.


The film’s working title was simply A.

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