I saw a very interesting psychological horror film last night called AYLA, about a troubled young man (Nicholas Wilder) who has never been able to accept the death of his hunger sister when she was only four years old. The film deals with the mourning process and the danger of arrested mourning, when we keep loved ones alive by binding with the pain dealt to us by their parting. Directed by Elias (GUT), it’s somewhat more of an art film than a shocker, so if you’re not interested in slow, methodical, even literary storytelling with poetical touches and ambiguous answers, this may not be your cup of tea. But it reminded me of the kind of horror film that Curtis Harrington might make were he around today.
Tristan Risk plays the title role of Ayla.
The title role is played by Tristan Risk, best-known for her work as Beatress in AMERICAN MARY; she is extraordinary in a silent yet highly disciplined physical performance that embodies the appeal of nostalgia as well as the unhealthiness of its excess. Dee Wallace is in it, too; in fact, I found all the performances strong and capable. It also serves up some memorable images. It's not yet available on DVD or Blu-ray, but it’s streaming here and there. If you're feeling in the mood for something eerie that will linger under your skin, seek it out.