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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

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Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and become trapped.

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4,435 ( 407)
2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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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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Jeremy Roberts ...
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Young Cop (as Joshua Cox)
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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

Plot Keywords:

house | cellar | incest | death | sadism | See All (191) »

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:

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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

Graeme Revell was the original composer, but his score was rejected (though at the closing titles he received credit as composer for additional music). See more »

Goofs

When Roach writes "ALICE" in the white wall, in the first shot he writes it neatly. In the next shot the writing is very messy, then neat again in the next shot. See more »

Quotes

Leroy: You seen Spencer?
Fool: I seen Spencer, alright.
Leroy: You find anything?
Fool: Something found him. He's dead, Leroy. I think scared to death.
Leroy: Y-you sure?
Fool: You thought he was white before, you should see that sucker now!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Silent But Deadly: Sean Whalen Remembers Reach (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

THRENODY TO THE VICTIMS OF HIROSHIMA FOR 52 STRING INSTRUMENTS
Written by Krzysztof Penderecki (as K. Penderecki)
Performed by The National Philharmonic Orchestra in Warsaw
Conducted by Witold Rowicki
Courtesy of Polskie Nagrania
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I liked it
6 October 2004 | by (Oulu, Finland) – See all my reviews

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...


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