It'll turn you inside out!
This film works like a charm for the same reasons Goonies did, except that it’s made for an adult audience despite the main protagonist being a kid. The kid is basically stuck within the walls of a giant house owned by psychos. This is written and directed by Wes Craven. It’s one of his most accessible films and is easily overlooked. It’s right up there, in the upper tier of his filmography.
There isn’t really something bad to say about this picture. It’s in its own category. The special effects are strong. The cinematography is outstanding, considering some characters move between the walls. This must have been amusing but challenging to shoot. The actors are excellent and the characters they play are colorful. The villains, especially, are bigger than life.
The People Under the Stairs is atmospheric, tense, exciting, never boring; it is paced intelligently, it’s a crescendo of terror and it’s a damn good horror thriller. The title of the film can be misguiding. There are several layers to this story that make it stand out; that make it unique. In a sea of horror movies, this is the kind of stuff fans tend to come back to. It’s rewatchable. It’s fun.