Fool, a 13-year-old boy, lives in the ghetto with his sister and sick mother. When his family doesn't have enough money to pay the rent, Fool is persuaded by Leroy (Ving Rhames) to break into his landlord's house to steal a valuable coin collection. Once Fool and Leroy are inside the huge and heavily fortified house, they realize they've gotten more than they bargained for, as the landlords turn out to be an insane brother and sister couple (Everett McGill and Wendy Robie) who murder visitors and keep their kidnapped "sons" locked up in the basement as deformed monsters. Only Alice, an imprisoned girl, can save Fool from the horrors within, and a frantic chase begins between the walls of the bizarre house as Fool tries to save himself, Alice, and his community from the evil landlords. A unique and inventive horror film, THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS combines the structure of a classic fairy tale with modern social criticism and imaginative production design.