The People under the Stairs title

Tag Line : In every neighbourhood there is one house that people whisper about.

The People under the StairsAnother fun filled Wes Craven outing. The story revolves around a young 13 year old boy from the ghetto nick-named "Fool" (Brandon Adams), who is having to face some serious problems. His family is being evicted from their home, they have no money, their father is long gone and their mother is seriously ill.

Unhappy with the prospect of living life on the streets, he accepts an offer from his older brother-in-law Leroy (Ving Rhames) to help him and his friend rip off the house of their greedy landlords, who live in a wealthy suburban neighbourhood.

They manage to break inside the house, but then find themselves unable to get back out again. When the occupants return home, all hell breaks loose as "Mum" (Wendy Robie) gets the pet Rotweiller and "Dad" (Everitt McGill) grabs his high power Desert Eagle handgun and goes after them.

Alone and trapped, young "Fool" takes refuge inside the house's maze of crawl spaces, where he makes a shocking discovery about what the psychopathic couple have been keeping in their basement...

Fool also discovers they have a "daughter" named Alice (A.J. Langer), who attempts to help him break out of the house along with the aid of another trapped person named "Roach" (Sean Whalen) who's been giving "Mum" and "Dad" the runaround. However, getting out proves no easy task, as they end up having to dodge endless booby traps, the rather unfriendly pet dog, and not to mention the shotgun toting "father" who's running around the house in full bondage gear.

Overall this is a highly enjoyable and fun film. The plot may have a few holes in it, and some of the violence may be a bit slapstick (parts were amusingly like an extremely violent "Home Alone"), but don't let that deter you. If you like 80's horror, this ones a blast.

Overall Marks : 6/10.

Terrifying Trivia.

  • Alternate tag lines "In every neighbourhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid".

  • Wes Craven got the idea for the film after seeing a news story about some parents who'd locked their kids inside the house and never allowed them out.

  • Ving Rhames went on to play mob boss Marcellas Wallace in "Pulp Fiction", as well as Luther in the "Mission Impossible" films. He also starring in the 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead"

  • Everitt McGill and Wendy Robie also starred together in the cult TV series "Twin Peaks". Robie also appeared in Wes Craven's "Vampire in Brooklyn".

  • The character of Alice was supposed to be 12 years old, however actress AJ Langer was actually 16 at the time.

  • Jeremy Roberts, who played Leroy's friend Spenser, also played Lt Baltaine in "Star Trek 6 : The Undiscovered Country".

  • Composer Don Peak also scored the music for Wes Craven's "The Hills Have Eyes".

  • Additional music was scored by Graeme Revell, who  provided the soundtracks for "Pitch Black", "Idle Hands", "The Crow 2" and some of the "Child's Play" films.

  • Hillary Swank was one of the people who auditioned for the role of 'Roach', but in the end they decided to give the part to a male actor.

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