Thursday, January 21, 2010

The People Under the Stairs

Released: 1991

Reviewed: 1.10.10
Star rating: 4 out of 5

Brandon Adams (Fool), Everett McGill (Dad), Wendy Robie (Mom), A.J. Langer (Alice), Ving Rhames (Leroy), Sean Whalen (Roach), Bill Cobbs (Grandpa Booker), Kelly Jo Minter (Ruby), Jeremy Roberts (Spenser).

Fool's Mom is sick, they can't pay rent and are being evicted, and he is the man of the house at 13 yrs old. When Leroy offers him a job helping with a house burglary Fool agrees. But once in the house they find the cannabalistic residents are worse than being caught by the police.

From Wes Craven, this one kicks off a bit slow with character development and plot setup but quickly turns into a roller-coaster ride of insanity. Once Fool comes into contact with Dad, Mom and Alice things get really strange and interesting. As the story continues we begin to feel stuck in a FunHouse from hell. Sprinkled with bits of humor, and a bit B-movie campy at times, the movie also has some good gore and scary parts so there is plenty here to hold audience interest.

Adams was pretty good in his role while McGill and Robie were both awesome nutters! Whalen was also a joy to watch while Rhames did a nice job supporting.

Camera work, sets and background were all nicely done. Although the setting was almost entirely inside a house the sets didn't feel cheap or minimal in any way. Sound and dialogue were nicely done but special effects and sets really stole the show. Gore and creature scenes were very nicely done while the film wouldn't have worked without the creativity seen with the sets.

Overall this is a nice horror flick with a little something for everyone. A bit dated, it is starting to show its age but is still quite entertaining. Mild foul language, gore, glood, terror and violence to save this for older teens and above.

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