Watch more of what you love with Prime Video
Start watching now
155 user 143 critic

The People Under the Stairs (1991)

0:30 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

Two adults and a juvenile break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children. There, they must fight for their lives.


Wes Craven


Wes Craven
2 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Fantasy | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

An anthropologist goes to Haiti after hearing rumors about a drug used by black magic practitioners to turn people into zombies.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Bill Pullman, Cathy Tyson, Zakes Mokae
Shocker (1989)
Comedy | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Michael Murphy, Mitch Pileggi, John Tesh
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

On the way to California, a family has the misfortune to have their car break down in an area closed to the public, and inhabited by violent savages ready to attack.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Suze Lanier-Bramlett, Robert Houston, Martin Speer
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Two teenage girls head to a rock concert for one's birthday. While trying to score marijuana in the city, they are kidnapped and brutalized by a gang of psychotic convicts.

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Sandra Peabody, Lucy Grantham, David Hess

Crooked landlords in the inner city are harboring secrets in their home. What are those strange noises coming from within the walls?

Director: Orion James
Stars: Orion James
New Nightmare (1994)
Fantasy | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather Langenkamp play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?

Director: Wes Craven
Stars: Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Jeff Davis
Candyman (1992)
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The Candyman, a murderous soul with a hook for a hand, is accidentally summoned to reality by a skeptic grad student researching the monster's myth.

Director: Bernard Rose
Stars: Virginia Madsen, Xander Berkeley, Tony Todd


Cast overview, first billed only:
Brandon Quintin Adams ... Fool (as Brandon Adams)
Everett McGill ... Man
Wendy Robie ... Woman
A.J. Langer ... Alice
Ving Rhames ... Leroy
Sean Whalen ... Roach
Bill Cobbs ... Grandpa Booker
Kelly Jo Minter ... Ruby Williams
Jeremy Roberts ... Spenser
Conni Marie Brazelton ... Mary
Josh Coxx ... Young Cop (as Joshua Cox)
John Hostetter ... Veteran Cop
John Mahon ... Police Sergeant
Teresa Velarde Teresa Velarde ... Social Worker
George R. Parker George R. Parker ... Attic Cop


The People Under the Stairs is the story of a young boy (Fool) from the ghetto and takes place on his 13th birthday. In an attempted burglary (along with two others) of the home of his family's evil landlords, he becomes trapped inside their large suburban house and discovers the secret of the "children" that the insane brother and sister have been "rearing" under the stairs. Written by chinagirl

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for terror/violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

1 November 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Wes Craven's The People Under the Stairs See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »


Box Office


$6,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$5,522,250, 3 November 1991, Limited Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (cut)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


This film is very similar to Criminal Minds episode,Criminal Minds: Mosley Lane (2010): Husband & wife who own a funeral home and abduct children. Even the wives hairstyles are identical. See more »


When Fool and Leroy first encounter Prince, they secure him in the room beside the kitchen, with the door to the outside closed. Yet when Mummy and Daddy return, the dog somehow has managed to get out of the super-secure house to greet them. See more »


Woman: How dare he come into our happy home!
Man: He came back to get Alice! You should have let me kill her!
Woman: You stay away from Alice!
Man: She did it with him! I know it!
Woman: Not my little girl!
Man: She's a whore!
See more »


Featured in The Directors: The Films of Wes Craven (1999) See more »


Courtesy of Southern Music Publishing Co., Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Wes Craven's masterpiece favorite horror film of mine - Home Alone only for adults I love it to death!
26 October 2016 | by ivo-cobra8See all my reviews

Wes Craven, the director of The Serpent and the Rainbow and Shocker, locks you inside the most terrifying house on the street. The People Under the Stairs (1991) is Wes Craven's masterpiece along side A Nightmare on Elm Street, New Nightmare, Scream, Shocker and The Serpent and the Rainbow. This is a Home alone for only adults. I wish I would see this movie as a child, but sadly I haven't. I never knew about this movie or that it exists. I just realize something Home Alone 2: Lost in New York copied the scene from this movie. When Kevin throws a brick on Marv that scene was copied from this movie in which Fool throws a brick on man's had in the attic. This is a horror comedy that it is well acted, well written and really incredible awesome! I love this film to death! I own it on Blu-ray in my collection and I still love it. This is a great horror movie. Very creative and interesting story line along with characters that are very interesting, at times, very comedic. This movie is one of Craven's best I highly recommend this.

This film is in my top 10 Wes Craven favorite movies and it is my fifth favorite movie from Wes Craven that I love it to death. Starring Brandon Adams who played Jesse Hall in The Mighty Ducks 1 and 2 movies. Everett McGill from Silver Bullet and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. I saw this on demand and I thought it was well played out although the parents were just plain freaks in their own way. The story line was just excellent and the settings gave it more of an eerie feel to it, although the children were an excellent addition, the whole beginning scenes really didn't need to be in there.

Plot: Two adults and a juvenile burglar break into a house occupied by a brother and sister and their stolen children and become trapped. Trapped inside a fortified home owned by a mysterious couple brother and sister, a young boy is suddenly thrust into a nightmare. The boy quickly learns the true nature of the house's homicidal inhabitants and the secret creatures hidden deep within the house.

I love the story, the idea from richer vs poor, you have a lead that it is a kid Brandon Adams is the star and the hero of the film. That is very unique, it is very unique. In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid. Now Wes Craven, creator of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" takes you inside.

I love this movie to death: It is different than Home Alone. A young boy breaks in to a house by the landlords to steal the golden coins to support his poor family including his dying sick mom with his partner/ sister boyfriend Leroy (Ving Rhames) unaware the house is full of booby traps and no one get's out, no one ever has. Fool has to fight for his life while it is impossible to get out of the house because he is locked from inside. You have full of booby traps, monsters in the basement, ugly mad dog and two psychos in the house chasing fool which is scary. I think Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) would s**t in his pens, if he would be in this house. A.J. Langer is absolutely gorgeous, awesome in this movie seriously she is so beautiful and gorgeous that my jaw drop.

I love the scene in which Leroy defends Fool and shouts to Fool "run Fool" when brother and sister killed him with a shot gun. It also has a heart. Another scene that I love is after Fool escapes from the house later he learns the secret about the landlords, he comes back to the house for Alice who he gave her a promise. The characters, especially the main hero are decent written by Wes him self.

This movie is intelligent and really brilliant. You have to put brains in this movie, because it is so intense. Brandon Adams was fantastic as the main hero Fool. Everett McGill as the psycho brother was great and creepy in a lethal, while Wendy Robie was a great psycho sister in the house.

I also love the music song Do The Right Thing by Redhead Kingpin And The FBI. Wes Craven directed this movie perfectly. His script was perfect and the direction locations were fantastic in the movie. Wes Craven for me was a master of horror and I miss him so much. The People Under the Stairs is a classic horror film and I really do wish I would have watch it as a child.

R.I.P. - Wes Craven (1939 - 2015) I really miss you and thank you for all the Freddy movies, thank you for all horror franchise and movies like are: A Nightmare on Elm Street, New Nightmare, Scream, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Shocker and The People Under the Stairs. Thank you for all your work Wes. I love you so much I wish you could done more horror movies, I really love them.

This movie get's my perfect 10/10 for been one of my favorite Wes Craven horror movies of all time.

The People Under the Stairs is a 1991 American horror film written and directed by Wes Craven and starring Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A. J. Langer, Ving Rhames and Sean Whalen.

10/10 Grade: Bad Ass Seal Of Approval Studio: Universal Pictures Starring: Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A. J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Bill Cobbs, Kelly Jo Minter, Sean Whalen, Jeremy Roberts Director: Wes Craven Producers: Shep Gordon, Wes Craven, Marianne Maddalena, Stuart M. Besser, Dixie Capp, Peter Foster Writer: Wes Craven Rated: R Running Time: 1 Hr. 42 Mins. Budget: $6.000.000 Box Office: $24,204,154

24 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 155 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed