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Descent (Original NC-17 Version)

118 customer reviews

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(Feb 04, 2010)
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(Oct 07, 2011)
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(Feb 05, 2008)
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Original Theatrical Version
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Maya (Rosario Dawson) is like many other college coeds, booksmart yet shy, curious about sex, yet scared to let herself go. One night she meets Jared (played by Chad Faust). When their courtship turns from romantic to horrific in a single violent act, Maya's world is ripped inside-out. Shutting out everyone in her life, Maya loses herself to a dark throbbing underworld of experimentation. Lured by club DJ Adrian (Marcus Patrick), she awakens to a cold and vicious new strength. But will Maya's downward spiral consume and destroy her - or will she be saved by its power? (Edited R-Rated version also availble on DVD).


Dawson's Intricate, Imaginative Performance Equals those of Robert De Niro in Taxi Driver and Hillary Swank in Boys Don't CryEssential to See! --Matt Zoller Seitz, The New York Times

A Masterpiece of Shock Cinema!

Incredibly Engrossing, Well Written and Intense. --Stephen Hill, BET

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Rosario Dawson, Tracie Thoms, Alex Reid, Oliver Milburn, Wilson Jermaine Heredia
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NC-17
  • Studio: City Lights Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: February 5, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (118 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VE4UQA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #131,564 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Descent (Original NC-17 Version)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jason VINE VOICE on May 5, 2008
Format: DVD
Mya (Rosario Dawson) is a somewhat reclusive college student who doesn't really have interaction with many men. She's so reserved that her parents have begun to worry about her. At one early point in the movie it appears that Mya may even have some thoughts of exploring homosexuality.

I can't go further without mentioning the fact that Rosario Dawson is compelling in her performance, morphing from innocent to wrecked, and eventually to psycho-sexual yet confused strength.

Anyway, Jared is a goofy looking, cookie eating, frat-boy with stalker tendencies. He has an atrociously borderline mullet, the skull structure reminiscent of a sketch after an alien abduction, the most horribly pretentious pickup lines in history, advances more awkward than a WNBA player walking in high-heels, and an agenda so obvious that it can be from Jupiter.

It's only a matter of time before Jared's polished routine manages to convince a naïve Mya into the frat's basement. How she didn't perceive his creepiness, which jumped off the screen the minute his opening credits rolled, is beyond me. However, he was somehow seductive enough to get her to engage in some kissing. When Mya wanted it to end, Jared didn't, and he raped her. Many may feel the scene is somewhat weak, or not brutal enough for a rape scene, but it's quite possible for someone to simply go catatonic during a traumatic experience, and there is a point at which even the strongest mind gives up fighting.

Afterwards Mya is psychologically destroyed, going throughout her graduation and daily life like Jodie Foster from Nell. At night, however, she's the polar opposite, and looking for satisfaction, understanding, and healing through alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By R. Smith on June 9, 2011
Format: DVD
As a rape survivor, I have seen many movies that triggered my emotions. "The Accused", for one. But "Descent" offers up an interesting twist on the aftermath of rape.

I'm not a fan of Rosario Dawson. Her acting seems a bit stiff until the final scene. But there is something compelling about this movie. It is not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination. Marcus Patrick provides eye candy in a very crude way. The dialogue is a bit stilted at times. Yet, it is a movie that haunts you.

Maya is an introverted, studious young woman attending a mostly white college. She is biracial and this plays an important role in her character's development. She does not truly consider her racial identity until she is date-raped by a jock, who expresses his desire and hatred for black women while assaulting her. Maya is then faced with the task of putting her life back together and trying to heal. She numbs the pain by engaging in a self-destructive lifestyle. She also plots the ultimate vengeance against her attacker.

"Descent" is painful. It is dark and disturbing and powerful. Like other reviewers have stated, it makes you question the ethics of "an eye for an eye".

This film stirred many emotions within me and it made me recall my own trauma, something I have always run away from. I cheered Maya on but I was also strangely sympathetic towards her rapist. It is obvious that he is a very weak, cowardly person with low self-esteem. He lacks control of his own life and raping Maya was a way to gain dominance over someone weaker than himself. Rape is generally about power, after all. Jared is simply a little boy trying to assert his masculinity.
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68 of 83 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. VINE VOICE on March 11, 2008
Format: DVD
As a revenge film, this is more realistic than others of it's like and it also seems more of a thinking persons revenge film. This film not only moved me in a way, but will stay with me probably for some time. I like this film but I didn't love it the way I wanted to. "Descent" isn't for the weak minded and again this film is not for the religious right and the NC-17 rating is appropriate for just two scenes. This film was good to a certain extent and the main reason it truly held me was how it played with my psych. I have always felt that a person who rapes women deserves to be punished exactly the way they have destroyed their victim(s), but this film made me hesitate a bit but didn't change my mine at all.

We see Maya (Rosario Dawson) as a bright college student, who is shy about love, but seeking a connection to another human being. At a party she meets Jared (Chad Faust), a greasy jock who is relentless with his come-ons. Falling under his charms, she takes a chance on him, leading to a romantic evening that culminates with her rape. Destroyed, Maya withdraws from her world, spending time in a complete drug-fueled fog. Only when the opportunity for revenge presents itself a year later does she begin to show signs of renewed life.

I give it 3 stars because you can see it's low budget roots but it's more arty direction does much to cover that up. I like Dawson in most of her roles and on this film it wasn't any different. In this film you really feel her damage but at the same time I feel bad for her. She throws herself into this role with wild, wanton abandon and is at times totally remarkable. While I admire the courage filming this must have taken on her part I still can't help but wish such an effort was given towards a worthier effort.
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Transfer problems
Not to be the jerk, but I'm glad to hear you say this. I watched this film on Netflix, through the "Watch Instantly" and was surprised that even after adjusting contrast and brightness on my monitor, some of the scenes with predominantly darker hues were still nearly illegible. You're... Read More
Apr 14, 2008 by SaintSacrilege |  See all 2 posts
Descent Soundtrack...
the mos def song is on the black on both sides cd by mos def. the entire cd is actually really good...i am looking for that soundtrack as luck
Jul 7, 2008 by Natalie Ahern |  See all 10 posts
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