The People Under the Stairs (1991) [REVIEW]


Haven’t I seen this movie before? I must have seen this movie before. The only problem with trying to remember whether or not I had seen it was the fact that I couldn’t remember a goddamned thing about it. I saw the trailer for it within the past few months before seeing a different movie and really couldn’t recognize anything being shown onscreen. Now that I think about it a little bit more, I think that years ago a friend of mine said something to the extent of, “Come on over, we’re watching The People Under the Stairs,” but I missed the beginning and got bored and left. Why I subjected myself to a movie that was so forgettable, I’m not too sure, other than I figured you guys might want me to review it. You’ve gotten your wish! Oh yeah, and because the description says it was “based on a classic fairy tale”, and I wanted to know which fairy tale involved Ving Rhames.


Hey Ving, looks like you lost some weight! HAHAHAHA!

A little boy who goes by the nickname of “Fool”, played by Brandon Adams, learns that his family is to be evicted from their shitty apartment. One way he can hopefully get money to pay the rent and stay in the apartment is if he assists Ving Rhames, playing a character that’s not named Ving Rhames but will only be referred to as Ving Rhames, in robbing a house of some precious coins. This isn’t your average house, that’s for damn sure, because the owners of this house are creepy freaks who keep their daughter locked in the house. Keeping a daughter inside is hard, so Ving Rhames and Fool have a little bit of difficulty getting in, and a much harder time ever getting out. When the owners of the house, only referred to as “Mommy” and “Daddy” get home, they seek to get the intruders out of their home. The resulting shenanigans causes Ving Rhames to get killed, while Fool discovers people locked in a basement and traveling through the walls. When Fool eventually manages to escape, he remembers a promise he made to the trapped daughter that he would help free her, so he goes back to the house, but this time he knows what he’s in for. We learn that the girl being trapped isn’t even the real daughter of the couple, and they have just been stealing babies and keeping them trapped in this house, which is the explanation for all of the people living in the basement. Luckily there is some dynamite readily available, so Fool blows the house up after escaping, which also causes money to blow up everywhere, and the movie ends with the entire neighborhood dancing in the street by the fire collecting money. Oh yes, how could I have forgotten THAT fairy tale.


Maybe if you hadn’t escaped the people under the stairs you wouldn’t have gotten so drunk on My So-Called Life and needed Claire Danes to rescue you! BITCH!

What the fuck was this? It was like Wes Craven had watched Home Alone and wanted to make an R-rated version of it. Apparently he based this on a real incident where it was uncovered that two parents had kept their children locked in their house, but where did the fairy tale aspect come into play? I think fans of this movie might fall into that “nostalgia” crowd that only likes it because they remember seeing it 20 years ago. Did I mention that most of the movie, the one responsible for the dirty work of chasing Fool was a dog? We have to get mad at a dog, only to have that dog accidentally killed by Daddy? Bullshit. Also, why did Daddy sometimes appear as just some normal dude, and other times was he wearing a leather gimp suit, zippers and all? I think I missed maybe five minutes of this movie to go to the bathroom, but did they ever explain that? It kept me entertained to see the wacky shenanigans of a little kid running through the house and comically injuring an adult, including running up to Daddy and punching him in the nuts when he was looking the other way, but that’s about it. I’m glad I saw it so I know that I never really have to see it again.


Wolfman Moon Scale

Amazon DVD

2 responses to “The People Under the Stairs (1991) [REVIEW]

  1. Jack and the Beanstalk is the Fairy Tale. Small boy with no money kills giant, frees girl prisoner and returns with money. The basic story structure is the same.

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