The People Under The Stairs
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The People Under The Stairs
Wes Craven wrote and directed this surrealistic horror-comedy, which was inspired by a true story of parents keeping their children locked in a basement for years. Fool (Brandon Adams), an African-American teen, breaks into the home of the wealthy landlords who evicted his family from a ghetto tenement. A fortune in gold coins is rumored to exist inside, but Fool discovers that the mansion is a chamber of horrors presided over by a pair of incestuous, serial killer siblings (Everett McGill and Wendy Robie). The twisted couple has also tried to raise a succession of kidnapped boys. Each botched… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"A pretense of social responsibility and most of the necessary tension get lost in a combination of excessive gore and over-the-top perfs in The People Under the Stairs."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Craven has been directing downhill since his terror triptych of "Last House on the Left," "The Hills Have Eyes" and the original "Nightmare on Elm Street," so it's hardly surprising that he hits bottom with "The People Under the Stairs.""
‑ Richard Harrington, Washington Post
"Perhaps the most staggeringly incompetent movie in the director's uneven canon."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
"A heady horror film (virtually a horror-movie fairy tale) punctuated with occasional outbursts of dark-humored slapstick and all centered on an angry socio-political theme."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"While The People Under the Stairs may leave some horror fans unsatisfied and other horror detractors repulsed, it ought to satisfy those viewers who appreciate a thoughtful and visceral movie entertainment."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"There are a few push-button frights, but a total dearth of mind-disturbing terror; the humour, too, is broad, crowd-pleasing stuff."
‑ Nigel Floyd, Time Out
"If there were truth in advertising, The People Under the Stairs would be called The Not Very Scary Movie Set Inside a Grungy, Badly Lit House."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"A very uneven but interesting horror thriller with a social message that's somewhat lost in a script with some effective terror and less working humour and slapstick."
‑ Andreas Samuelson, Slasherpool
"Goofy fun for fans of schlocky horror films."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
""The People Under the Stairs" provides a few jolts here and there, but writer-director Wes Craven certainly doesn't let taste stand in the way of exploitation."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
"Though the new movie has its share of blood and gore, it is mostly creepy and, considering the bizarre circumstances, surprisingly funny."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"The performances combine with Craven's witty script and energetic direction to make The People Under the Stairs a spooky, laugh-filled release most horror fans should get a kick out of."
‑ Steve Newton, Georgia Straight
"Craven toils under the influence of Lynch and Raimi, but below the surface hyperactivity the results are the same."
‑ Jake Euker, F5 (Wichita, KS)
"Very good Wes Craven thriller"
‑ Stefan Birgir Stefansson,
More reviews for The People Under The Stairs on Rotten Tomatoes

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