She may have irresistibly wide eyes, distinctly effective facial features and an unidentifiable ethnicity that brands her as purely “exotic,” but Rosario Dawson’s performance in Descent is far from the charismatic woman in Grindhouse.

Not even the doe-eyed Dawson could save this film though, as the story of one college woman’s victimization through date rape is narrated at a painfully slow pace, with textbook cinematic techniques reminiscent of a first year film student. Incoherent and unoriginal, Descent brings nothing new to the female empowerment table.

Kudos to the filmmakers’ attempt to portray a rape victim who turns her violation into burning revenge instead of self-hate or doubt, but the digression of Maya’s character is nothing but unbelievable. From the presence of overwhelming literal darkness in every scene, her recruit by some form of sexual cult and eventually plotted revenge against her old attacker, Descent really is true to its name.

Grade: D

Descent releases in select theaters on Aug. 10.