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Blu-ray Review: The People Under The Stairs (Collector’s Edition)
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Adam Frazier   |  @   |  
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The People Under The Stairs (Collector’s Edition)

The People Under The Stairs
Blu-ray (Collector’s Edition)
Director: Wes Craven
Screenwriter: Wes Craven
Cast: Brandon Adams, Everett McGill, Wendy Robie, A.J. Langer, Ving Rhames, Sean Whalen
Scream Factory
Rated R | 103 Minutes
Release Date: August 11, 2015

“In every neighborhood there is one house that adults whisper about and children cross the street to avoid…”

Written and directed by Wes Craven (A Nightmare on Elm Street, Scream), 1991’s The People Under The Stairs stars Everett McGill and Wendy Robie (Twin Peaks) as bible-thumping psychos who live in a house of unspeakable horrors. Brandon Adams (The Mighty Ducks) stars as Poindexter “Fool” Williams, a streetwise kid from a Los Angeles ghetto. With his family facing eviction, Fool agrees to assist Leroy (Ving Rhames) and his associate Spenser (Jeremy Roberts) in breaking into their landlord’s home in search of riches.

Things take a sinister turn when the robbers find themselves trapped inside a suburban fortress, held captive by the masochistic doppelgängers of Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Robie and McGill, known only as “Mommy” and “Daddy,” are a pair of fundamentalist maniacs who have imprisoned their daughter Alice (A.J. Langer) for her entire life. Their darkest secret, however, lurks within the homestead’s walls… and under the stairs.

The People Under the Stairs comes to Blu-ray thanks to Scream Factory, Shout Factory’s sub-division of forgotten horror and science-fiction films. As with most Scream Factory releases, this Collector’s Edition of the movie looks great, with healthy grain retention and full colors. With a 1080p transfer in 1.85:1 and a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, as well as a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix for home theater enthusiasts, Craven’s classic is getting the treatment it deserves.

There’s plenty of special features too, including two commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with Wendy Robie, director of photography Sandi Sissel, composer Don Peake, and special make-up effects artists Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger, and Robert Kurtzman. On the first commentary track, moderator Michael Felsher and Wes discuss the film’s themes and how it’s – sadly – just as relevant as ever in 2015.

I was seven years old when The People Under the Stairs opened in theaters. The idea of mutilated, cannibalistic children living in the walls of a dungeon-like home occupied by a leather-studded psycho was horrifying, and yet I was compelled to know more. Every time a TV spot came on, I would watch through my fingers hoping to see something so shocking that it’d keep me up at night. Craven’s films, regardless of critical or commercial success, possess a kind of power – a dark, primordial energy that arrests the viewer and awakens our deepest fears.

The People Under the Stairs is a horror-thriller with darkly comedic undertones that packs more thematic punch than 90% of today’s horror releases. As time goes by, Craven’s film only becomes more powerful (and relevant). Time has been kind to this film, and Scream Factory’s top-notch high-definition release only highlights how much of a gem it really is.

Scream Factory’s The People Under the Stairs (Collector’s Edition) Blu-ray is now available at Amazon. Check out the full list of bonus features, trailer, and cover art below!

Bonus Features

– Audio commentary w/ Wes Craven
– Audio commentary w/ Brandon Adams, A.J. Langer, Sean Whalen
– House Mother – An interview w/ Wendy Robie
– What Lies Beneath – Interviews w/ Greg Nicotero, Robert Kurtzman & more
– House of Horrors – An interview w/ Sandi Sissel
– Setting the Score – An interview w/ Don Peake
– Behind-the-scenes footage
– Theatrical trailer & TV spots
– Original storyboards & official stills

Trailer

Cover Art

The People Under the Stairs (Collector's Edition) Blu-ray from Scream Factory

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