The People Under the Stairs (1991)

Executive Produced, Written & Directed by: Wes Craven


Brandon Quinton Adams .... Fool
Everett Mc Gill .... Man / Dad
Wendy Robie .... Woman / Mom
A.J. Langer .... Alice
Ving Rhames .... Leroy
Sean Whalen .... Roach
Bill Cobbs .... Grandpa Booker
Kelly Jo Minter .... Ruby

Release Date: Theatrical: November 1, 1991

*Images courtesy at:





A young boy named Fool (Brandon Quinton Adams) turns 13 and helps burglarise their nasty sibling landlords home with his sister's boyfriend Leroy (Ving Rhames) and Leroy's friend Spenser (Jeremy Roberts) to steal money in order to get Fool's mother to get treatment from dying of cancer as well as nearly being evicted from their run down apartment in the Ghetto by disguising themselves but when that fails they break into their home.
They realise that their landlords are psychopaths due to their greed with many boobytraps built around the house and kidnapped a bunch of people when they were kids and keeping them in their cellar with one girl that's trapped in their house named Alice (A.J. Langer) whom they say is their daughter as they mame and beat her.
Both Spencer and Leroy are killed by these two maniacs as Fool must try to escape himself and try to help the people they kidnapped out but it isn't too easy as he thinks due to the all the traps these wicked people have along with a vicious rottweiler they own that they feed body parts to.


There is a good camera shot on a table showing some fortune telling cards.
Also we spot a good dispute between Leroy grabbing young Fool's shirt and getting aggressive.
We also have a good twisted moment with Man / Dad by a fireplace viciously eating some meat with the camera panning away and then a demented scene with Woman / Mom acting wicked.
There's also a good setting between Woman / Mom acting foreceful towards Alice while brushing her hair and demanding her to ask her if she loves her with a total evil attitude.
Also a good shot on Alice looking tense by sitting in her chair as well as looking frightened when Woman / Mom gets evilly stern with her about after she ate and where her fork is.
A good shot on Man / Dad taking his belt off about to swack at her too which looked disturbing to watch on what will happen later on.
There's a corny moment with Fool towards Woman / Mom making out he's a boyscout selling cookies and she just gets very strange which looked quite comedic.
We have a good look with Fool and Leroy trying to break into the house as it makes you cringe what is going to happen.
A great shocking moment with a rottweiler grabbing onto Leroy's arm.
There's a nice shot looking up on Fool from a staircase to a cellar on him walking down and getting scared. There's a nice shot on him walking down the stairs and a door shutting on him from behind.
Nice shots on the house showing windows and doors shutting and getting locked with Leroy running away with Fool.
A good shot on Man / Dad shooting him and acting crazy.
There's good fast shots on Roach grabbing Fool from a nearby wall and them running away in the hallways inside the wall with Man / Dad trying to shoot them and the rottweilwer on the chase.
A good shot on Fool up in the cellar window and calling for Alice.
There's perfect intensity with Woman / Mom smacking Alice around with her freaking out with great intense expressions as well as throwing her in a hot bath and acting insane which makes it hard to watch.
There's also a good shot on Man / Dad grabbing Alice on the bed acting forceful.
A good discussion between Grandpa Booker with Fool when he tells him about those maniacs and their greed.
There's good moments with Fool fighting back against Man / Dad and Woman / Mom.
A nice shot on a camera looking up a chimney which involved Fool and Alice by looking down as well as them walking on the roof of their house.
A good shot on them sliding down the chimney too at full force.
Good shot on the house with money flying in the air and the residents going wild.
Bottom line is that this film was sick, twisted and rather pointless too but yet it's creepy thinking about these poor people living all their lives locked up in a cellar with two maniacs living in the house and abusing this poor girl as it seems like a real life hell. You wonder if whoever is living in the walls or cellar are human or zombie's but we've seen this before folks as I found this to be Wes Craven's worst horror flick as he tries to make it funny as well as teisted but misses by a longshot. There's good performance and direction which saves this film from bombing.

The acting is very good as we get a nice dynamic performance by young actor Brandon Quinton Adams (Fool) showing everything he's got to his part. He was quite a character. He says his words greatly when he tells his fellow actress that her parents are one sick mothers. He knew on how to act tough when fighting back against two onscreen maniacs.
Everett Mc Gill
(Man / Dad) was just plain whacked and kookie in his part as the evil one in the house as he was more evilly goofy than scary.
Wendy Robie
(Woman / Mom) on the other hand had great wicked features and knew how to come across as an insane one with her intensity and disturbed actions. She is great by going crazy and screaming with a kitchen knife and chasing after someone.
A.J. Langer
(Alice) was perfect with her frightened expressionless features and knew how to behave like she was scared of her own shadow like you'd want to protect her from these evil people. She does well getting scared during the near beginning of her performance when someone is about to whack her with a belt. Does well when she talks to her fellow actor with tears in her eyes when she reads out loud the words on a picture hanging on a wall "I do not see, or hear, or speak evil". Does well acting too scared to go outside. Also does well by getting vengeful in the end too including standing still with icy expressions towards one of the maniacs and telling her she is not her mother.
Ving Rhames
(Leroy) shows nice attitude to his part in the film when he throws his weight around playing a good poor one in the hood. A good reaction on him when being shot.
Sean Whalen
(Roach) showed nice energy as the mute one living in the walls and under the stairs as he came across greatly with what he had in the film.
Kelly Jo Minter
(Ruby) was one of the best cast members with her stright forward attitude and no nonsense behavior. I also enjoyed her in A Nightmare On Elm Street 5.
I loved her by pretending to be a solicitor at the door towards and then speaking her mind to her with good bad ass attitude.

Some graphic gore here
There's a skeletal corpse with some blood and the odd torn flesh
A piece of a hand is fed to a dog
Someones flesh is torn off with guts being thrown and eaten
A pool of blood is on a floorway

There's some descent metal scraping sounds for the dark and fast action scene's along with some fast piano sounds with some screechy violin music.

Woman: You didn't lick this, did you?

Leroy: Just because a man's lying down doesn't mean he's dead!

Fool: Your father's one sick mother. Actually your mother is one sick mother too.

Alice: Mommy and Daddy wanted a boy, but every boy turned out bad. Some saw things they weren't supposed to see, some were caught trying to call for help, others talked back. Daddy cut out the bad parts, and put them in the basement... they get flashlights and food of some kind and I suppose they're happy in their own way.
Fool: Yeah right... so why haven't they put you in the basement?
Alice: I do not see, or hear, or speak evil.
Alice: It's the only way.

[to his dog]
Man: Shut the FUCK up!

Woman: I don't want to see another cop or cookie in my life. I don't know which one makes me sicker.

Man: May they burn in hell.
Woman: Forever and ever in hell.

Woman: What's a mother to do? Lazy brat sits in her room all day, sewing dolls. Children misbehaving in the basement! And one in the wall, doing his business God knows where. You kids will be the death of me... the death of me.

Fool: They're not your real parents, Alice, they're not even husband and wife... they stole you, just like they stole Roach and all the others. They're just a bunch of rotten baby snatchers.
Alice: You're just saying that...
Fool: My grandfather Booker told me, he wouldn't lie to me.

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

Alice: [to the woman] Go to hell!

Woman: You hurt your mother
You're not my mother... You never were

Fool: I feel like a million dollars