People Under the Stairs (1991)

1991 | R | Horror, Thriller, Comedy, Mystery

User Score: 82/100


Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and can't escape.

Wes Craven‘s "People Under the Stairs" is an interesting tale of a young boy named Fool who is struggling in the projects. He, his sister’s boyfriend Leroy (played by a very young Ving Rhames), and a friend of theirs decide to break into their land lord’s house and rob him. However, they soon find out that the job will not be as easy as they thought. Everett McGill & Wendy Robie do a great job of playing the sick and sadistic "Ma" and "Pa" characters that own the home. The film has very disturbing images and references. "Pa" beats and sexually abuses their "daughter" Alice and always claims that she will "burn in Hell" with the rest of the sinners. Fool discovers that the people under the stairs he encounters while hiding from the crazed couple (who actually turn out to be brother and sister, sick huh?) aren’t monsters at all, but prisoners of men and boys "Ma" and "Pa" had collected over the years, trying to find the perfect son. The movie sounds confusing and sick, but it’s done pretty well. The acting could be a lot better, especially the part of Fool (played by a young Brandon Adams) but the great story makes up for it. The ending is beautiful and really makes the movie a classic in my eyes. All in all, Wes Craven’s "People Under the Stairs" is definitely far from being his greatest film, however, it’s still an interesting and original story, with some memorable images and ideas.

About People Under the Stairs (1991)

Title: People Under the Stairs
Year: 1991
Starring: Sean Whalen, Ving Rhames, John Mahon, Everett McGill, Kelly Jo Minter, John Hostetter, Yan Birch, A.J. Langer, Josh Coxx, Teresa Velarde, Danny Kopel, Wendy Robie, Bill Cobbs, Michael Kopelow, Jeremy Roberts, Conni Marie Brazelton, George R. Parker, David Robinson, Wayne Daniels, Nic Cramer, Jon Kinney, Brandon Quintin Adams
Director: Wes Craven
Score: 3 / 5 stars
Avg. Rating: 4.05/5 stars from 11 users. Votes: 11.
Genre: Horror, Thriller, Comedy, Mystery
MPAA Rating: R

People Under the Stairs Cover Poster Art