Throughout the past season of Project Greenlight, Wes Craven was repeatedly referred to as “the master of horror,” a lofty title immediately refuted by The People Under the Stairs, perhaps the most staggeringly incompetent movie in the director’s uneven canon. Imagine The Goonies via Alice in Wonderland but with mild gore, swearing, deviant sexual imagery and a laughable subtext about class struggle, and you have some idea of the confusion plaguing this 1991 Craven misfire, which can’t decide whether it’s a kid’s film (replete with Home Alone-style slapstick gags) or one designed to terrify adults. The story’s “monsters” are a crazy brother (Everett McGill) and sister (Wendy Robie) who, when not imprisoning and mutilating kidnapped children in their secret passageway-infested mansion, like to evict lowly black people from their ghetto homes, and Craven (seemingly possessed by white liberal guilt) seizes every opportunity to hammer home his lame-brained allegory’s message about the mistreatment of African-Americans by nasty, capitalist Caucasians. Add to this mix some pathetic make-up work, lousy wide-eyed acting from Brandon Adams (as the aptly named pint-size hero “Fool”) and intolerable illogicality (why do the kids under the stairs look like Leatherface wannabes? Why does Ving Rhames rudely smash his way into the house, only to then tiptoe around? How is such a decrepit building completely soundproof?), and you’ve got a debacle that should have been consigned to Universal’s basement.