The People Under The Stairs

A horror film by writer-director Wes Craven about a 13-year-old ghetto boy (Brandon Adams), whose family is about to be evicted by an evil slumlord (Twin Peaks’s Everett McGill), stumbling into a group of brutalized kids held captive in the slumlord’s house, which the demented fellow shares with his equally deranged sister (Twin Peaks’s Wendy Robie) posing as his wife. Most of this works pretty well in terms of shocks, suspense, and cartoonlike violence, but less well as social metaphor. With A.J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Bill Cobbs, Kelly Jo Minter, Sean Whalen, and Jeremy Roberts (1991). (JR)

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