The People Under the Stairs is a 1991 horror comedy film that was written and directed by Wes Craven. It was produced by Stuart M. Besser and Marianne Maddalena. The film stars Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, and A. J. Langer.
The storyline focuses on a young boy called Poindexter Williams known by the nickname Fool who comes from the ghetto. On his 13th birthday, he and two adult robbers attempt a burglary of the home of his family’s evil landlords trying to steal their collection of rare coins. He and his two accompliances become trapped inside their large suburban house and soon discover the secret of the “children” that the insane brother and sister have been “rearing” under the stairs.
According to writer-director Wes Craven, the story behind The People Under the Stairs was partially inspired by a real-life news story from 1978 when two burglars made a forced entry into a house in Los Angeles, California, which unintentionally led to the local law enforcement discovering a pair of children who had been locked away by their parents.
When The People Under the Stairs was released it received a generally mixed to positive response from the critics. On Rotten Tomatoes it currently holds a rating of 63% with the general consensus being, “Held aloft by gonzo black comedy and socially conscious subtext, The People Under The Stairs marks a unique — though wildly uneven — change of pace for director Wes Craven”. Overall praise was lavished on the performances Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould, the script and overall atmosphere of the film but criticism was levied against the inconsistent tone, which many found a conflict between horror and comedy.
Commerically the film was a huge success. Having been been made on a relatively low production budget of $6 million it opened in the top spot at the box office, taking in over $5.5 million that weekend. It continued to stay in the top 10 for a month until early December. The People Under the Stairs went on to gross over $24,204,154 at the US Box Office and $7,143,000 Internationally, bringing its worldwide total Box Office reciepts to $31,347,154.
The People Under The Stairs
Year of Film
Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A. J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Sean Whalen, Bill Cobbs, Kelly Jo Minter, Jeremy Roberts, Conni Marie Brazelton
Origin of Film
Genre(s) of Film
Comedy | Horror | Mystery | Thriller
Budget: $6,000,000 (Estimated)
Opening Weekend: $5,522,250 (USA) (3 November 1991)
Gross: $31,347,154 (Worldwide)
Type of Poster
Style of Poster
Origin of Poster
Year of Poster
40″ x 30″
Single Sided or Double Sided
NSS # / Printer Markings
Wes Craven, creator of “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” invites you for a bite to eat.
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