Fool decides to help Leroy break into the landlord's creepy mansion in order to help his momma pay rent, but they quickly become trapped by the twisted owners and the other lost children that they keep locked in the cellar! Wes Craven returns with another traditional fairy tale turned sour in THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, from 1991. Craven lends an urban edge to the classics of storytelling, tying the deep-rooted theme of racial discrimination into the plot. The character archetypes of classic literature are ever present, as described in Fool's tarot card reading at the beginning of the film. Our villains are purposefully designed to be over-the-top and outrageously evil. They are sadists, cannibals, AND incestuous lovers. We ae told that each generation from this family became greedier and greedier, and with that greed, they grew more and more insane. The division between the rich white family and the poor, oppressed minorities is evident from the very beginning, but the racial discrimintation only grow more severe as the film presses onward. Everett McGill and Wendy Robie are truly a twisted pair as the crazed landlords, as they willingly lose themselves in the wild-eyed characters. Brandon Quintin Adams quickly wins over the audiences' effections as well as the smart-mouthed but courageous young hero, Fool. Although light on scares, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS provides a thrilling adventure that falls closer in line with films like THE GOONIES than any of Craven's other pictures.
Movies like THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS:
FLOWERS IN THE ATTIC, THE CRAWLSPACE, DOGTOOTH, CELLAR DWELLER, CASTLE FREAK, PARENTS, THE GOONIES.