Friday, February 26, 2021


One of the many ways to convey tension and fear in films and other visual media is by the use of a woman carrying a candle in the dark. A beautiful woman fearfully creeping through the shadowed halls of an ancient and decrepit castle whilst carrying a candelabra of flickering tapers before her is a sure sign that there is terror ahead.

French filmmaker Jean Rollin put this trope to good use in many of his vampire films, usually with the candle-bearer wearing a diaphanous gown -- or more often than not -- wearing nothing at all. Other European horror films (those starring Barbara Steele immediately come to mind) used this device that seemed to never fail in creating an atmosphere of dread. What was waiting for them in the shadows, just beyond the candlelight?

Kuelan Herce in Le Frisson des Vampires.

From Le Vampire Nue by Jean Rollin.

Diana Lorys in The Awful Dr. Orloff.

From Don't Deliver Us From Evil.

Jane Fonda in Spirits of the Dead.

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