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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 30 March 2017
I love this film and it does have a story. Some just don't!! Main characters psychotic but it wouldn't be fun if they ertent. Comical in places
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on 13 April 2017
What can I say it's a classic
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on 23 March 2017
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on 9 November 2013
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS is more of a Comedy Thriller than a Horror there's only couple scenes of Blood and Gore
so most of the film is a Thriller with some comedic scenes in it mainly with Everett McGill that plays the brother in the film
acts like a clown most of the time whereis the sister played by Wendy robie is very Deranged and Psychotic sister
the film is set in suburban L.A.
Wes craven's best film ever is A NIGHTMARE ON ELM ST
but this film PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS is somewhere on his list as one of his best
you either like it or you don't like it
if you want the plot go to wikipedia.com.

Arrowfilms has reissued this film on blu-ray with all new special features that have never been released until now
with this new blu-ray release you get an all new HD transfer done by universal pictures
picture and audio is pretty Good for a High Definition widescreen transfer better than the DVD release from years ago
there is also brand new special features as the DVD release had none
there's a new interview with Wes craven about the making of the film, he talks about the casting and the filming etc
a new interview with AJ Langer who plays the Young teen Girl in the film,
very interesting interview she talks about her casting and working with Wes craven etc
a new interview with Sean Whalen who plays Roach in the film
and also an interview with Jeffrey Reddick the creator of the Final Destination series
there's also a Audio commentary with Brandon adams who played the kid FOOL in the film
there's a new Collectors booklet about the film

this Blu-ray version of THE PEOPLE UNDER STAIRS is fantastic, better than the DVD release which has no extras at all
so if your a big fan of this film then buy the Blu-ray version definitely worth the money
i gave this blu-ray 5 stars cause of the new special features and the new HD transfer that looks and sounds excellent
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on 19 July 2013
A family in an inner city apartment building is at the mercy of evil landlords attempting to evict them so they can build an office building. They decide to turn the tables and rob their landlords who are supposed to be gold coin collectors. They enter the house, lead by a young Ving Rhames during the first Gulf War (on TV) through "the mother of all doors." Rhames remarks about all the locks on the cabinets, "This place is weird." Rhames and child actor Brandon Quintin Adams get trapped inside as the people under the stairs are only part of their worries as an attack dog roams the house and the owners return.

One of the things you may notice is that the make-up is not complete. The people under the stairs are pale because they don't see the sun. This was made possible with make-up which is missing from necks and chest. The area inside the walls and under the stairs was unbelievably huge. The numbers of the people who live under the stairs was too large to be possible. The idea these were all kids they had adopted is unfathomable. The skeleton prop hanging up was cliche and fake looking. There are numerous plot problems and film continuity issues, i.e. position of items and blood from scene to scene. This is not Wes Craven's finest film.

F-bomb, no sex or nudity.
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I've always gotten a kick out of this movie. The story line is original (or at least it seems so to me). The gore is startling in a couple of scenes but isn't overpowering. The acting is outrageously over the top but also is endearing.

Thirteen-year-old Fool (Brandon Ames) finds himself in a large suburban house owned by the two slum lords who are about to evict his sick mother and others from a ghetto tenement. He's in the house because he agreed to help two burglars make a score on treasure they heard was hidden there. Unfortunately for Fool (and his two grown-up accomplices), the owners are a brother and sister who call each other Mommy and Daddy. The man (Everett McGill) is a homicidal maniac who goes in for head-to-toe, studded, black leather bondage suits and pump action, single barrel shotguns. His sister (Wendy Robie) is just as looney and just as murderous, a screaming dominatrix. They also have a large vicious dog you wouldn't want to hand feed...that is, unless you had a hand to feed it.

Fool finds hidden in the house a young girl, Alice, who he thinks is the pair's daughter. He also finds a number of boys, stolen when they were children and a few perhaps the product of Mommy and Daddy themselves. They've had their tongues cut off and ears chopped. Seems they were part of Mommy and Daddy's deep need for a perfect child...and when they didn't measure up, off with the tongues so they couldn't shout for help, and down they were put to the basement. They seem to have been fed by Daddy on the butchered parts of unfortunate salesmen and meter readers. It becomes a race for Fool to find a way out, rescue Alice and the people under the stairs, locate the treasure and see that Mommy and Daddy get what's coming to them. And after him is a relentless Daddy, with Mommy urging Daddy on.

What makes this movie work for me are three things. First, the set-up in which the hero is a kid, and the horror is what has happened to other kids. Second, Brandon Adams' performance as Fool. He does an excellent job playing a fast-thinking, brave, resourceful young boy. And last, there is the Grand Guignol performances of Everett McGill and Wendy Robie. They are so over the top, so demented and so murderous that I never know whether to laugh or sit stunned at their doings.

Once the premise is established and the characters are known, the movie does become one long set of narrow escapes through the house, and the house appears to have an infinite number of secret openings, narrow passages, sliding stair cases and slamming doors. Still, the movie works for me.

The DVD's picture is very good; so's the sound.
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on 6 January 2006
People who have said this film is rubbish don't get the point of it. It's a classic 'ripping yarn' often bordering on the ridiculous, if you like 'An American Werewolf' or 'Evil Dead' type movies then you'll love it. If you are new to this genre then it's definately worth a watch. If you take yourself too seriously and look for meaning in everything then don't bother!
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on 17 April 2006
I've watched this film several times over the years and it is really one of the better of Wes Cravens films which can be especially of late pretty hit and miss. The premise of this film has been given before so I won't go over it again so I'll just give my opinion. This film is not really scary but I don't think being scary was it's main intention. There are some bits of the film that do make me laugh out loud and that is usually hard for me in a comedy let alone a horror film.

There are some slightly disturbing aspects of the film regarding child abuse that I thought may not have fitted in entirely well with the dark comedic aspects of it. One of my main problems with the film is the DVD didn't appear to be of that good in regard to picture quality but saying that it wasn't that bad that it detracted from the film itself. It just could have been better. Another problem is that the people who do actually live under the stairs didn't really look like real people. They were made to look like bad zombies. I don't really believe that the make up was needed to that extent. The film was very well cast and entertaining. Do not go into this film with the preconception that it's going to scare you because you're only going to be disappointed. It is a horror film but I would say that it is a comedy horror.
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VINE VOICEon 26 February 2004
Before anyone reads on, if your a scare addict and gore lover then dont watch this film. This movie is a more surreal / disturbing film than a simple slash n dice movie which plague the market today. Its based around a boy who's roped into a robbery with his sisters boyfriend and mate. The house they pick just happens to be owned by a crazy couple who are also their land lords trying to evict them, the robbery goes pear shaped and the boy becomes trapped inside the dungeon like house. The rest i cant tell without spoiling the film. But its definately worth buying if you love the mind playing horrors!
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on 5 February 2014
Fool lives in the ghetto and has found out his family are getting evicted from their run down apartment. On top of that he learns his Mother is dying of cancer.

Fool is persuaded by family friend, Leroy to sneak into the landlords' home to steal a prized coin collection rumoured to be in their home.

Desperate to help save his Mother's life and the family from being thrown into the streets, Fool goes with Leroy and Leroy's friend, Spencer to the house.

They use disguises to get in, but it doesn't work. Once they force their way into the house, they realise they got a lot more than they were looking for.

After Spencer and Leroy are killed, Fool tries to escape. Running for his life, he bumps into the landlords' daughter, Alice, a young abused girl full of scars and fear.

Fool feels sympathy and persuades her to escape with him. Fool then finds out that the evil and sadistic landlords are not a married couple but brother and sister who kidnap young boys and keep them locked up in the cellar....

This is one of those Craven movies that you have either heard of, and love, or never heard of it before, much like Deadly Friend. I first saw this nearly twenty years ago, and it used to be one of my favourite horror films, and it's still in my opinion one of the best pieces the director has ever done.

There is no monster in this, like Freddy or Ghostface, this is about a normal lower class boy, tying to find a way to keep his family's head above water, with the added twist of child kidnapping and people taking religion to the extreme.

Some could call this a racist movie, and in some ways I can see why, but Craven plays on this, as the 'Parents' are a very fifties-esque couple, straight out of a film such as 'Far From Heaven' where people lived sheltered lives.

It's pretty gruesome in parts, with the element of claustrophobia throughout, the house can be classed as one of the central characters of the movie.

McGill, straight from Twin Peaks, is the thing to watch in this movie, every scene he is in sparkles with humour and dread, and makes the whole of the film that little more interesting.

It's dated badly though, but that doesn't deter the main message of the movie, the rich get rich the poor get poorer, but are the rich really insane? fantastic stuff.
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