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The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Trailer
1:09 | Trailer
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:

Wes Craven

Writer:

Wes Craven
Reviews
Popularity
4,220 ( 536)
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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 Teresa Velarde ... Social Worker
George R. Parker 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Spanish Director F. Javier Gutiérrez (Before the Fall, Rings) was approached by Wes Craven to direct a remake. See more »

Goofs

After Alice stabs the Woman, you can see the Woman removing the knife but you can see she's removing it from the side of her body. See more »

Quotes

Alice: He said he killed you!
Fool: He was exaggerating.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Book of the Senseless (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

User Reviews

 
I liked it
6 October 2004 | by kameleonttiSee 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The People Under the Stairs See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,522,250, 3 November 1991

Gross USA:

$24,204,154

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$31,347,154
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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