Saturday, October 2, 2010

Halloween Challenge #2

The People Under the Stairs is an excellent horror movie from Wes Craven. Not only is it shocking, gory and exciting, but also funny and absurd. The story deals with a family about to be evicted from their tenement. The son, Poindexter (aka Fool) is having his thirteenth birthday when he finds out. His sister's boyfriend, Leroy (Ving Rhames), has discovered where their landlords live and knows the rumor of their vast wealth to be true. He needs Fool to help him break in, much like Oliver Twist and Bill Sikes.

Well, obviously it is not going to be all that easy. Not only are the landlords evil slum barons, but also an incestuous, cannibalistic, child-stealing pair of murderers with a house that would make the killer from Saw happy. They discover the robbers and set out to eliminate them in order to protect their wealth and their secrets.

Unfortunately, I find the ending to be a bit cheesy, but for the most part it is a fun scary movie. The killers, known as Mommy and Daddy, are over the top but have a lot of personality, particularly Daddy, played by one of my favorite character actors, Everett McGill (Heartbreak Ridge, Dune).

Verdict: Very good, if a tad corny at times.


Lazarus Lupin said...

This pair also played husband in wife in Twin Peaks. Makes you wonder sometimes.

Lazarus Lupin
art and review

Darius Whiteplume said...

I should have figured McGill was in Twin Peaks, as he's a Lynch favorite (I think). Did not realize the actress was. I wonder if they are really married?

Nathan said...

I remember watching this and thinking it came across more as social commentary than horror.

Darius Whiteplume said...

Definitely a message film. It borders on Blaxploitation, but doesn't quite go there. Having the one non-black character (who wasn't one of the killers) die first was definitely against the grain of the day.

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