IMDb > The People Under the Stairs (1991)
The People Under the Stairs
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The People Under the Stairs (1991) More at IMDbPro »

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The People Under the Stairs -- Trapped inside a fortified home owned by a mysterious couple, a young boy is suddenly thrust into a nightmare. The boy quickly learns the true nature of the house's homicidal inhabitants and the secret creatures hidden deep within the house.
The People Under the Stairs -- 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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6.3/10   23,765 votes »
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Popularity: ?
Down 7% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer (WGA):
Wes Craven (written by)
View company contact information for The People Under the Stairs on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 November 1991 (USA) See more »
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 »
Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and can't escape. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
2 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Probably Craven's strangest movie See more (143 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Brandon Quintin Adams ... Fool (as Brandon Adams)

Everett McGill ... Man

Wendy Robie ... Woman

A.J. Langer ... Alice

Ving Rhames ... Leroy

Sean Whalen ... Roach

Bill Cobbs ... Grandpa Booker

Kelly Jo Minter ... Ruby Williams
Jeremy Roberts ... Spenser

Conni Marie Brazelton ... Mary

Josh Coxx ... Young Cop (as Joshua Cox)

John Hostetter ... Veteran Cop

John Mahon ... Police Sergeant
Teresa Velarde ... Social Worker
George R. Parker ... Attic Cop

Yan Birch ... Stairmaster
Wayne Daniels ... Stairperson 1

Michael Kopelow ... Stairperson 2
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Nic Cramer ... Person Under the Stairs (uncredited)
Jon Kinney ... Drug Addict #1 (uncredited)

Danny Kopel ... Drive-by Biker (uncredited)
David Robinson ... Person Under the Stairs (uncredited)

Directed by
Wes Craven 
Writing credits
Wes Craven (written by)

Produced by
Stuart M. Besser .... producer
Dixie J. Capp .... co-producer (as Dixie Capp)
Wes Craven .... executive producer
Peter Foster .... associate producer
Shep Gordon .... executive producer
Marianne Maddalena .... producer
Original Music by
Don Peake 
Cinematography by
Sandi Sissel 
Film Editing by
James Coblentz 
Casting by
Eileen Mack Knight 
Production Design by
Bryan Jones 
Art Direction by
Steven Lloyd Shroyer 
Set Decoration by
Molly Flanegin 
Costume Design by
Ileane Meltzer 
Makeup Department
Jerry Baker .... special makeup effects assistant
David P. Barton .... special makeup effects artist (prosthetic supply)
Howard Berger .... special makeup effects supervisor
Michelle Bühler .... makeup artist
Denise Dellavalle .... assistant makeup artist
Earl Ellis .... key special makeup effects technician
Robert Kurtzman .... special makeup effects supervisor
Rick Lalonde .... special makeup effects assistant
Mark Maitre .... key special makeup effects technician
Greg Nicotero .... special makeup effects supervisor (as Gregory Nicotero)
Barbara Olvera .... hair stylist
David P. Barton .... dental prosthetics (uncredited)
Wayne Toth .... special makeup effects artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Stuart M. Besser .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Carl Beyer .... production assistant
Peter Chesney .... second unit director
Rosemary C. Cremona .... key second assistant director
Melanie L. Knox .... second second assistant director
Nicholas Mastandrea .... assistant director (as Nick Mastrandrea)
Art Department
Will Blount .... property master
Chester A. Hewett III .... stand-by effects carpenter
Kent Johnson .... painter
Fernando Lau .... construction foreman
Philip Mayor .... storyboard artist
Lisa Thompson .... assistant set decorator
Ernst van de Bovenkamp .... set constructor
Helen Wilson .... draper
Sound Department
Rick Bozeat .... sound editor
Paul B. Clay .... supervising sound editor
Rich Coleman .... sound recordist
Roberta Doheny .... sound re-recording mixer
Walter Gorey .... boom operator
Susan Kurtz .... sound editor
Susan Kurtz .... sound effects editor
Greg W. Lowe .... adr recordist
Diane Marshall .... foley artist (as Diana Marshall)
Ernesto Mas .... adr editor
Peter Reale .... supervising re-recording mixer
Carin Rogers .... sound editor
Karin Roulo .... foley mixer
Jeffrey L. Sandler .... sound editor
Tanya Sharp David .... adr mixer
Steve F.B. Smith .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Pat Somerset .... adr editor
Don Summer .... sound mixer
Mike Szakmeister .... sound editor
Jerry Trent .... foley artist
Howard Wilmarth .... sound re-recording mixer
Special Effects by
Peter Chesney .... special effects supervisor
Robert Clark .... mechanical dog effects
Mark Goldberg .... dog effects crew
Mark Goodell .... dog effects crew
Camilla Henneman .... dog effects crew
Timothy Huizing .... puppeteer
Kent Jones .... dog effects crew
Rikelle Kerr .... dog effects crew
James McLoughlin .... dog effects crew (as Jim McLaughlin)
Dean W. Miller .... key effects coordinator (as Dean Miller)
Kate Steinberg .... special effects projects coordinator
Sandra Stewart .... effects technician (as Sandy Stewart)
J.D. Streett .... effects technician
Tom Chesney .... special effects technician (uncredited)
Linda Arvidson .... stunts
John Branagan .... stunts
Anthony Cecere .... stunt coordinator
Anthony Cecere .... stunts
Dane Farwell .... stunts
Sandra Lee Gimpel .... stunts
Marian Green .... stunts
Jeff Habberstad .... stunts
Melvin Jones .... stunts
Kelsee King-Devoreaux .... stunt double
Kelsee King-Devoreaux .... stunts
Kent W. Luttrell .... stunts
Eric Mansker .... stunts
Paula Marie Moody .... stunts
Beth Nufer .... stunts
William R. Perry .... stunts
Lori Lynn Ross .... stunts
Dan Rycerz .... stunts
Lynn Salvatori .... stunts
Birgit K. Schier .... stunts
Lee Waddell .... stunts
Camera and Electrical Department
Douglas L. Adam Jr. .... assistant camera
Dana Altomare .... first assistant camera: "b" camera
Huston Beaumont .... rigging gaffer
George Billinger III .... camera operator
Joe Celeste .... key grip
George M. Chappell .... gaffer: second unit
Ted Chu .... Steadicam assistant
Craig Cockerill .... second assistant camera
Tony Cutrono .... director of photography: second unit
Jeffrey De La Rosa .... lighting technician
Ronnie Dennis .... first assistant camera
Matthew Dorsey .... electrician
Lex duPont .... Steadicam assistant (as Lex DuPont)
Linda Field .... grip
Samuel Fischer .... dimmer board
Jerry Gorman .... first assistant camera: second unit
Chris Hayes .... additional camera operator
Dan Kneece .... Steadicam operator
Jules Labarthe .... gaffer: second unit
Jerry L. Mandley .... electrician
Jeff Mart .... Steadicam operator
Bruce McCleery .... gaffer
Ned Nedrow .... rigging grip
Terry Pfrang .... first assistant camera
Felix Rivera .... gaffer: second unit
Brian Robertson .... best boy grip
Dave Robey .... best boy electric
Brenda Ryan .... camera loader
Wendi Van Dyke .... second assistant camera: second unit
Carol Westwood .... still photographer
Gary A. Williams .... grip
Jamie Young .... dolly grip
Casting Department
Andria Mack .... casting assistant
Rick Montgomery .... extras casting
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Tim Wegman .... wardrobe supervisor
Editorial Department
Sondra Davis .... first assistant editor
Brian Leon .... telecine colorist
Tim O'Neil .... second assistant editor
David Orr .... color timer
William Pine .... color timer (as Bill Pine)
Angela Robinson .... second assistant editor
Yvonne Valdez .... post-production coordinator
Tom Walls .... additional editor
Location Management
Judson Schwartz .... location manager (as Judson Neil Schwartz)
Music Department
Dick Bernstein .... music editor
Laurie Higgins Tobias .... supervising music editor
Graeme Revell .... composer: additional music
Transportation Department
Jimmy Jones .... transportation coordinator
Other crew
Joi Andreoli .... script supervisor
Henri Bollinger .... unit publicist
Rocky Bonifield .... stand-in: A.J. Langer (as Roxanne 'Rocky' Meyers)
Kathie Broyles .... title designer
James Dew .... animal trainer
Fabio Golombek .... set production assistant
Sarah James .... production coordinator
Van Johnson .... stand-in
Sean Lemar .... stand-in
Julie Mondin .... stand-in
Jeffrey A. Okun .... title designer
Tom Prince .... production executive
David Riggons .... stand-in
Angelo Rivers .... animal trainer
Roger Schumacher .... head animal trainer
Crystal Weaver .... production assistant
Wanda Welch .... stand-in
Sharon 'Mae' West .... script supervisor
Daniel Wheatcroft .... studio executive
Richard Wicklund .... studio teacher
Michael Haro .... additional production assistant (uncredited)

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated R for terror/violence
102 min | Germany:99 min (cut version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Finland:K-16 (cut) (1993) | Finland:K-18 (uncut) (1992) (2002) | Germany:18 | Germany:16 (cut) | Iceland:16 | Italy:VM14 | Netherlands:16 | Norway:18 (video premiere) (1992) (uncut) | Norway:(Banned) (1991-2003) (cinema release) | Portugal:M/18 | South Korea:18 | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:18 (original rating) | UK:15 (video re-rating) (2002) | UK:18 (video rating) (1992) | USA:R (certificate #31396)

Did You Know?

Wes Craven chose Wendy Robie and Everett McGill to play the parts of Mommy and Daddy after seeing them play husband and wife on the TV series, "Twin Peaks" (1990).See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Fool is climbing inside the chimney (just before him and Alice descend down and hit Mommy), you can see the brick chimney wobble as he climbs in.See more »
Woman:I don't want to see another cop or cookie in my life. I don't know which one makes me sicker.See more »


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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful.
Probably Craven's strangest movie, 1 July 2007
Author: Robert_Lovelace from New York, NY, United States

"The People Under The Stairs" is a delightfully oddball horror flick that centers on a young boy nicknamed Fool, who lives in a dilapidating apartment in the inner-city ghetto with his family and dying mother. The greedy landlords of the apartment complex plan on kicking Fool and his family out, so he and a family friend, Leroy (Ving Rhames) hatch a plan to break into the landlords' spooky large house (which was formerly a funeral home) to steal a coin collection supposedly hidden somewhere in there. But they get more than they bargained for when they discover the man and woman living there kidnap young children and lock them inside the cellar. What ensues is a bizarre battle between Fool and the landlords as he tries to save all of the abused, deformed people who have been locked inside all their life.

"The People Under The Stairs" is one wild trip, and I say that because it really truly is. Written and directed by horror legend Wes Craven, I'd have to say that this his strangest film, and I think most would agree. The entire script is quite off-the-wall and very strange, but I admire that quality about it. The story is actually pretty unique, I can confidently say I've never seen a film like this before. While the storyline may be a little hard to sink your teeth into, if you set aside logic and just watch the movie for what it is, it is quite a neat little horror movie. For one, it has a surreal atmosphere that adds to its overall quirkiness, and it has a certain effect that I've never really experienced before. It's a bizarre movie to say the least, but I think that might be why I enjoyed it so much. The characters are twisted, and the dark, musky setting in the old house is a perfect place for the story to unfold. Plus there is also some dark comedy to be found here as well. In fact, at times this movie seems like more of a seriously twisted black comedy, but I'd say it's a cross between both of these genres.

Brandon Adams leads the cast as a thirteen year old boy who is caught up in the battle with the psychotic landlords and is surprisingly good, especially considering his age. A.J. Langer plays Alice, the only child in the house that isn't neglected and locked away, and is also good. The actors playing the mother/woman and dad/man are excellent in their bizarre and over-the-top roles, and Ving Rhames is decent with what screen time he has. There are some excellent sequences in this movie as well, mostly the chase scenes within the walls and labyrinth of passageways and whatnot inside the house. I'd like to point out the special effects as well which were very well done, as was the makeup on the deformed, former-"children" of the landlords, who looked very disgusting. As for the ending, it is also over-the-top and a bit silly, but the entire movie is, really, so this goes along with the flow of the movie well. The film itself as a whole seems to have some sort of deeper meaning behind all of the psychotic and twisted elements - as for me, I have my ideas of what it may be trying to say, but I think it can be interpreted different ways. But it does seem to be trying to send some sort of message, whatever that may be.

Overall, "The People Under The Stairs" is an immensely entertaining but very bizarre and offbeat little horror flick. It isn't perfect and it is a little out there, but if you can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours and enjoy a twisted, almost fairytale-like horror movie, this can be a fun experience. But make sure you don't take it too literally, because it is a very strange movie. All things considered though, I dug it. 7/10.

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