6.4/10
28,038
155 user 141 critic

The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Trailer
0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

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, Martin Speer
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
New Nightmare (1994)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 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
Horror

Crooked landlords in the inner city are harboring secrets in their home. What are those strange noises coming from within the walls?

Director: Orion James
Stars: Orion James
Edit

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
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

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is very similar to Criminal Minds episode,Criminal Minds: Mosley Lane (2010): Husband & wife who own a funeral home and abduct children. Even the wives hairstyles are identical. See more »

Goofs

When Fool and Leroy first encounter Prince, they secure him in the room beside the kitchen, with the door to the outside closed. Yet when Mummy and Daddy return, the dog somehow has managed to get out of the super-secure house to greet them. See more »

Quotes

Leroy: We done popped this house's cherry.
See more »


Soundtracks

LULLABY FOR A LITTLE TREE
Courtesy of Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

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...


29 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed