Wes Craven’s latest movie My Soul to Take sounds like another dud for the once touted master of horror. It’s another in the mystical serial killer goes and murders a bunch of teens genre that Craven started back with his classic A Nightmare on Elm Street in 1984. He tried it again with the unsuccessful Shocker – where the killer is electrocuted and then becomes a murderous killer made of pure electricity.
Looking at Craven’s long career, he has had some success (The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street.) But he has also done a lot of crap. Deadly Friend, Swamp Thing and Vampire in Brooklyn just to name a few. And he has done some movies that I’ve really enjoyed – guilty pleasures really but they are still fun to watch. The Serpent and the Rainbow is one and the other is the 1991 film The People Under the Stairs.
The People Under the Stairs is an intense ride. Brandon Adams is a young boy nicknamed Fool who has just had his thirteenth birthday. His family has just been evicted by their evil landlord and his mother is real sick. Ving Rhames and his partner con Fool to help them in robbing the landlord’s house. It’s a big creepy looking house that has locks on all the windows on the outside.
What they find on the inside is Everett McGill and Wendy Robie – the landlords and the most f’d upped family ever to grace the screen. They present themselves as husband and wife and they have a teenage daughter named Alice (A. J. Langer). “Alice has been bad. She’s been feeding that thing between the walls again.”