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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 20,515 users  
Reviews: 138 user | 68 critic

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

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Title: The People Under the Stairs (1991)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Fool (as Brandon Adams)
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Man
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Woman
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...
...
...
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Jeremy Roberts ...
...
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Young Cop (as Joshua Cox)
John Hostetter ...
Veteran Cop
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Police Sergeant
Teresa Velarde ...
Social Worker
George R. Parker ...
Attic Cop
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Storyline

The People Under the Stairs is the story of a young boy (Fool) from the ghetto and takes place on his 13th birthday. In an attempted burglary (along with two others) of the home of his family's evil landlords, he becomes trapped inside their large suburban house and discovers the secret of the "children" that the insane brother and sister have been "rearing" under the stairs. Written by chinagirl

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In every neighbourhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. Now Wes Craven, creator of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" takes you inside... See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$24,204,154 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Wes Craven was inspired to write this film after reading a real-life news story about burglars breaking into a house. When authorities arrived, the burglars had disappeared but they discovered locked doors with noises coming from behind. Children had been locked up inside the rooms by their parents, never allowed to go outside. See more »

Goofs

When the Man and Woman return home, the Man locks the door behind him. Three distinct clicks can be heard, but there is clearly only one lock. See more »

Quotes

Alice: People have tried.
Fool: You mean, the people in the cellar?
Alice: [nods]
Fool: Who are they?
Alice: Mommy and Daddy looked a long time to find the perfect boy child, but each one they found turned out bad. Some saw things they weren't supposed to, others heard too much, others talked back. Daddy cut out the bad parts, and put the boys in the cellar, one by one. They get flashlights and food of some kind. I suppose they're happy in their own way.
Fool: Yeah right. What about you? How come they haven't put you in the cellar?
Alice: I...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Movie Review: The People under the Stairs (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

LULLABY FOR A LITTLE TREE
Courtesy of Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc.
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User Reviews

 
In the top 5 of Craven's movies!
7 May 2002 | by (Finland) – See all my reviews

Years ago I went to see this movie with my friend, think I was 15... Well, liked it then, like it now! A mystery to me is that how can this horror gem be so underrated - at the time it's practically forgotten! C'mon! Let's see what we got here!

1) Originality. It's mostly day time, we're up against no Jason or Michael, but two HUMAN baddies, and the setting is just a normal (well, then again maybe not so normal) HOUSE in the middle of a suburb! In between the lines this pays homeage to Halloween by shoving that inhabited areas can be just as deserted and unsafe as, say, a foggy forest...

2) Humour. This must be the most coal-black-humour-ridden splatter flick in history! And believe it or not, it all works! You'll be either frightened and laughing your ass off in every twisted turn, I promise you that. A school- book example of a roller-coaster-ride- kind of a movie! Most of this thanks to the nutcased "parents", especially the father (Everett McGill)!

Also instead of a caucasian College kid Johnny Football Hero in the lead for goodies, we this time have a 13-year old black kid everyone calls "Fool".

Was Craven ahead of his time back then? I think "Scream" owes at least a bit to this one in what comes to taking the splatter genre not too seriously... Any which way, go rent this one right away!


10 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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