• R, 1 hr. 42 min.
  • Horror, Comedy
  • Directed By:
    Wes Craven
    In Theaters:
    Nov 1, 1991 Limited
    On DVD:
    Oct 7, 2003
  • Universal Pictures

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The People Under The Stairs Reviews

Page 1 of 1
Steve Newton
Georgia Straight

The performances combine with Craven's witty script and energetic direction to make The People Under the Stairs a spooky, laugh-filled release most horror fans should get a kick out of.

Full Review Source: Georgia Straight | Original Score: 3/5

July 6, 2010
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 3/5

September 9, 2005
Vincent Canby
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the new movie has its share of blood and gore, it is mostly creepy and, considering the bizarre circumstances, surprisingly funny.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 3.5/5

August 30, 2004
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

A heady horror film (virtually a horror-movie fairy tale) punctuated with occasional outbursts of dark-humored slapstick and all centered on an angry socio-political theme.

Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Original Score: 4.5/5

August 24, 2003
Alex Sandell
Juicy Cerebellum

Goofy fun for fans of schlocky horror films.

| Original Score: 3/5

March 5, 2003
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

| Original Score: 4/5

February 9, 2003

Very good Wes Craven thriller

| Original Score: 4/5

December 27, 2002
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

| Original Score: 3/5

October 13, 2002
Scott Weinberg

| Original Score: 3/5

July 25, 2002
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

"The People Under the Stairs" provides a few jolts here and there, but writer-director Wes Craven certainly doesn't let taste stand in the way of exploitation.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City

January 1, 2000
Marjorie Baumgarten
Austin Chronicle

While The People Under the Stairs may leave some horror fans unsatisfied and other horror detractors repulsed, it ought to satisfy those viewers who appreciate a thoughtful and visceral movie entertainment.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 3/5

January 1, 2000
Variety Staff
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A pretense of social responsibility and most of the necessary tension get lost in a combination of excessive gore and over-the-top perfs in The People Under the Stairs.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2009
Nigel Floyd
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are a few push-button frights, but a total dearth of mind-disturbing terror; the humour, too, is broad, crowd-pleasing stuff.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness

Perhaps the most staggeringly incompetent movie in the director's uneven canon.

Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Original Score: D

June 3, 2005
Andreas Samuelson

A very uneven but interesting horror thriller with a social message that's somewhat lost in a script with some effective terror and less working humour and slapstick.

Full Review Source: Slasherpool | Original Score: 3/5

October 28, 2004
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)

Craven toils under the influence of Lynch and Raimi, but below the surface hyperactivity the results are the same.

| Original Score: 2/5

June 8, 2004
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central

| Original Score: 1/5

September 6, 2003
Richard Harrington
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Craven has been directing downhill since his terror triptych of "Last House on the Left," "The Hills Have Eyes" and the original "Nightmare on Elm Street," so it's hardly surprising that he hits bottom with "The People Under the Stairs."

Full Review Source: Washington Post

January 1, 2000
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If there were truth in advertising, The People Under the Stairs would be called The Not Very Scary Movie Set Inside a Grungy, Badly Lit House.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: D

November 1, 1991
Mark R. Leeper
January 1, 2000
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