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Descent

3.1 out of 5 stars 129 customer reviews

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Descent

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Editorial Reviews

In Descent, acclaimed actress Rosario Dawson plays the most controversial character of her career: a promising college student who becomes bent on seeking revenge after a shocking act of violence is committed on her. The feature debut of co-writer/ director/producer Talia Lugacy, Descent is a film that unnervingly tackles some of the country's most taboo subjects. Maya's (Dawson) life seems blessed- the boys can?t resist her charm and beauty and she has a promising academic future ? yet she still feels alone. Jared's (Chad Faust) is also blessed with ease. The two begin to flirt and date but on one night things move too far too fast and Maya tries to pull away but he won?t let go. After this violation, Maya breaks away from everything familiar. She enters the new semester transformed: bold and dynamic in a world that suddenly seems small and protected to her. She vows vengeance on her attacker. She will be in control. Descent is an unforgettable tale of innocence shattered, dreams destroyed, and vengeance fulfilled, featuring a shattering, career-defining performance from Dawson.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Tgg Direct
  • DVD Release Date: November 22, 2011
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005V1WYSE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #333,323 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: DVD
***1/2

"Understated" is not a word you would usually use to describe a rape revenge film, but "Descent" is just that. Classic rape revenge films like "I Spit On Your Grave" or "Last House on the Left" depict women being horrifically brutalized by random strangers. "Descent" offers something different ... a disturbingly realistic portrayal of a date rape.

Maya, a bookish, uptight, intellectual college student, is hit on by cocky athlete Jerrod at a party. Her initial instinct is that he's a creep, but he manages to convince her that beneath his frat boy exterior he is actually a sensitive romantic who's been admiring her from afar. Charming as many a sociopath can be, he gets her to consent to dinner, a drink at his place, and a kiss ... then shows his true colors by raping her, all the while calling her racist names under the guise of dirty talk. Apparently, Jerrod enjoys both physically and psychologically destroying his victims.

And destroy her he does. The film doesn't take the easy route showing Maya's trauma. Maya retreats into herself, appearing still and numb while the world goes on around her. She appears to quit school for a while, takes a menial retail job, and starts exploring the world of nightlife, complete with drink, drugs, and casual sex. This part of the film takes on a dreamier, stranger tone, and yet it never plays it as sensationalistic or over the top. Maya is lost and numbing herself, and, like many survivors of sexual trauma or abuse, finding a strange relief in promiscuity.

In the film's final act, Maya appears to be back in school, working in a prestigious TA position, when she is shocked to discover that Jared is one of the students in her class.
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