A young plucky type goes on an adventure with a noble purpose, befriends unlikely weird characters, defeats the bad guys. I mean, I could be describing THE GOONIES. There's a lot of that spirit here.
Except… oh, the bad guys—Big Ed and Nadine from Twin Peaks! Wes Craven must've been a fan, right?—are actually an incestuous, child-napping, racist couple. The husband often dons a gimp suit and hunts people with a shotgun. And there are people (under the stairs, obviously).
How it all fits together, how someone even thought this could work, I have no idea. Bless you, Wes Craven, it mostly does.
I’ll defer to the words of Roger Ebert, who wrote the following in his four star review:
“To understand ‘The Birth of a Nation’ we must first understand the difference between what we bring to the film, and what the film brings to us. All serious moviegoers must sooner or later arrive at a point where they see a film for what it is, and not simply for what they feel about it. ‘The Birth of a Nation’…