6.3/10
26,224
151 user 136 critic

The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Two adults and a juvenile break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children. There, they must fight for their lives.

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Shocker (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Mitch Pileggi, John Tesh
Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, John Steadman
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After her husband dies of mysterious circumstances, a widow becomes increasingly paranoid of the neighboring religious community that may have diabolical plans for her.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Maren Jensen, Sharon Stone, Susan Buckner
New Nightmare (1994)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather Langenkamp play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Jeff Davis
Deadly Friend (1986)
Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

After his friend is killed by her abusive father, the new kid in town attempts to save her by implanting robotic microchips into her brain.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Matthew Labyorteaux, Kristy Swanson, Michael Sharrett
Cursed (2005)
Comedy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A werewolf loose in Los Angeles changes the lives of three young adults who, after being mauled by the beast, learn they must kill it in order to avoid becoming werewolves themselves.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Christina Ricci, Jesse Eisenberg, Portia de Rossi
Swamp Thing (1982)
Horror | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After a violent incident with a special chemical, a research scientist is turned into a swamp plant monster.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Louis Jourdan, Adrienne Barbeau, Ray Wise
Horror

A TV adaptation of Wes Craven's 1991 film 'The People Under the Stairs.'

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Fool (as Brandon Adams)
...
Man
...
...
...
...
...
...
...
Spenser
...
Mary
...
Young Cop (as Joshua Cox)
...
...
Police Sergeant
Teresa Velarde ...
Social Worker
George R. Parker ...
Attic Cop
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

house | cellar | incest | death | sadism | See All (190) »

Taglines:

In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,522,250, 3 November 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$24,204,154
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actor Sean Whalen who played Roach was 27 years old when he played the part of at least supposedly a 15 or 16 year old boy in the film. See more »

Goofs

When the man blasts away the trap door in the wall, pieces of the door are left in place. But when he walks up to the wall to yell at Roach, the area surrounding the hole in the wall is perfectly square as if the door was never there. 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 »


Soundtracks

DO THE RIGHT THING
Written by David 'Redhead' Guppy & Markell Riley
Performed by Readhead Kingpin & The F.B.I.
Courtesy of Virgin Records, Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I liked it

Many people dislike this movie but it's good enough for watching, if maybe not several times then at least once. "Don't damage the face", says Mother and leaves Father to punish Alice for being a bad girl. That's it, I'm hooked to the screen. First time I saw this movie I missed the beginning but it works well without it. Actually you can skip the background story with the financial problems and society issues and stick to the horror - and it's comical side. I specially liked the kid called Roach, who had his tongue cut out for bad words. Alice was also great, a shy little girl that tries to be nice for Mommy and not soil her pretty dress, though she feeds the basement people and guides Fool around when the time comes. When you watch a doll being pulled away from you on a string, you must follow it... Find a candle in the darkness. You know you must get out but the door is locked. The only way out is upwards.

There is a lot of nice visual stuff like the old bathroom or running inside the walls and the light drifting in from bullet holes. Mother and Father live in a fantasy where children are supposed to be pretty and behave. Now a few decades ago that was reality, but they are pulling it over the edge by mutilating their children and locking them in the basement if they're naughty. I recall that the kids weren't really theirs but kidnapped from around the area. Many people writing down the plot have misunderstood it somehow. It is quite poor but in this case it's not supposed to be a main attraction. I bet the writer came up with the idea of a sick mother and burglary in order to get money for medical treatment only after inventing the main idea about the house and the brother and sister living together as a couple, herding a bunch of insane children. Well they must have some reason to get Fool into the house, so why not...


28 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 151 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page