The People Under the Stairs

Wes Craven
Running Time
102 mins

Back in 1991, Wes Craven made his most purely thrilling horror movie since the original Nightmare On Elm Street, which also brought back the cartoonish social content of his ground-breaking The Hills Have Eyes and Last House on the Left. Two youths break into a scary old house where a slum landlord lives, finding it to be a booby-trapped hellhole, complete with an imprisoned daughter out of a 19th century melodrama, various deadly traps, cobwebbed secret passageways, albino cannibals in the cellar and enough dynamite to blow the neighbourhood to smithereens. The proprietors of all this are third-generation psychopaths Man (Everett McGill) and Woman (Wendy Robie) – reunited from their Twin Peaks pairing. It’s a succession of effective cheap shocks and slapstick horror gimmicks; all good fun, with even a smidgeon of serious socialism.

It’s back on screen in the Watershed’s welcome Hell is Other People Sunday brunch season to complement the release of Parasite.


By robin askew, Friday, Jan 17 2020


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