Today in 1991: The People Under the Stairs premiered in theaters.
The People Under the Stairs is a twisted little film, made for around $6 million by Wes Craven, who described it as the closest thing he has made to The Hills Have Eyes. “It’s a raw film with no dreams in it whatsoever,” Craven told Fangoria in an interview around the film’s release.
In the film, a young boy teams up with a pair of adult robbers to steal some expensive coins from a pair of wealthy land barons. They own the boy’s apartment building, and are planning on shutting it down. Once inside, they discover the couple is up to far worse things than cheating the lower class.
This film was inspired by a real-life incident. In the late 1970s, a pair of burglars broke into a home in Los Angeles. These actions inadvertently led police to discover two children that had been imprisoned in their own home by their parents.