The People Under the Stairs | Indy Week

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Rated R · 102 min. · 1991

Comedy, Horror

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 effort is handled the same way -- the victim's eyes, ears and tongues are removed, and he's sent to live in the sealed-off basement, where a colony of similarly deformed brothers resides. Fool is able to avoid the evil lovers as he moves through the house's maze of hidden passageways. He discovers that the occupants have a daughter, Alice (A.J. Langer), who has survived their abuse, so he rescues her and they attempt to free the people under the stairs. Adams, who made his feature debut with in film, was familiar to viewers as the star of rock singer Michael Jackson's Moonwalker (1988).~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide

Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Wes Craven
Producer: Wes Craven
Cast: Brandon Quintin Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer and Ving Rhames

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