Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is a 2021 American documentary series you want to ignore. Netflix
Crime scene: The disappearance at the Cecil hotel, the the latest hit documentary on Netflix , is a terrifying watch. But not for the reasons whyare you expecting.
Focusing on the famous Cecil, a spooky hotel in downtown LA, it tells the story of Elisa Lam, a Canadian college student who disappeared in the hotel under mysterious circumstances, before being discovered drowned.
It 'sa real crime documentary dream. Grainy security footage shows Lam, frightened and strange, in an elevator in hysterical communication ... with another person? An insane spirit that haunts the Cecil? Who can tell? Later, mimicking the actual plot of the Japanese horror classic Dark Water, Lam's rotting body is found face up in the hotel's water tank. Residents had been drinking, washing and brushing their teeth in the murky water of that same reservoir for days before it was discovered.
With a mystery like that, and a legendary director in Joe Berlinger (previously head of classics like Brother 's Keeper and Paradise Lost) you'd expect Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel to be a must-see TV. But it's not.
Not even close.
This is bad. And not just bad. Crime Scene: The disappearance at Hotel Cecil is bloated, dull and confusing. It is irresponsible and dishonest, indulging in conspiracy theories that further expose already vulnerable victims.
Warning : Spoilers ahead. Culture
Fuse your brain with the coolest news from streaming to superheroes, memes to video games.
Cecil Hotel has a long history of criminal activity. Netflix
Crime Scene: The disappearance at the Cecil Hotel is terribly long. Useless long. What takes four episodes of an hour could and should be easily dealt with in one full-length episode.
In what quickly became a Netflix documentary trend, Cecil Hotel is in dire need of an edit - repeating the details endlessly, playing for time with meaningless footage and unnecessary interviews. this a metric issue? Is Netflix asking documentary makers to expand their projects to infinity?
Anyway, Cecil Hote I stretched my patience for fake teases and fake cliffhangers.
Watch toThis serial documentary demands a tolerance for the deliberately placed red herrings which are quickly resolved in the following episode, but Cecil Hotel does some pretty unforgivable things.
Images of Elisa Lam at the Cecil Hotel encouraged "Internet sleuths" to investigate her death, often with negative consequences . Netflix
Particular information, deliberately withheld at first, is used to create mystery and debate on the nature of Lam's death for the entire series, only to be resolved almost casually towards the end of the final episode. Hours of unnecessary speculation and - at times - baseless accusations against the police and hotel staff have all been totally and utterly unnecessary. There is a limit here and Cecil Hotel exceeds it.
Which brings me perhaps to the worst part of this documentary: the detectors on the Internet.
In an attempt to stretch the show 's runtime, Cecil Hotel fills minutes of screen time with a rotating cast of "Internet sleuths " - mostly YouTubers - who range from slightly strange to downright scary. These detectives spend hours dissecting footage, digging through Elisa Lam's social media accounts, making outrageous statements on YouTube channels.
Via these detectives, Cecil Hotel indulges in all types of conspiracy theories, theirlending credibility and respect throughout. Only to reveal - in the last 10 minutes - that almost always Everything they said was completely irrelevant.
It 'sa line technique.
Cecil Hotel's endless browsing of Elisa Lam's Tumblr blog is uncomfortable, like reading someone's teenage diary - but given that mental health issues de Lam are paramount to the case, it is undoubtedly understandable. However, having these weird detectives (a friend was asked to check in touching Lam's gravestone) dissecting them uncritically on camera is a step too far.
But it 's nothing compared to the treatment of Pablo "Morbid " Vergara, a death
Morbid was treated particularly poorly in the documentary. Netflix
Not alone documentary Cecil Hotel obscures the fact that Morbid stayed at the hotel 12 months before Lam's disappearance for most of its duration, he engages in a savage conspiracy theories that he was involved in hisdead. Using footage from his death
It was only later that we find out that not only was Morbid not in the United States at the time of Lam's disappearance indeed, he had been endlessly harassed and threatened to the point of attempting to commit suicide and end up in a psychiatric hospital. Encouraged by the same type of internet sleuth who is given a huge uncritical platform in this documentary.
Spend half of your documentary suggesting that this man, pushed to the brink by an online mob, could have been responsible for Lam's death is senseless and potentially damaging.
But that's normal for of course with Cecil Hotel, a documentary that resumes a crazy story and how makes it not only boring but ing on offensive by providing a platform for a group of people who actively derailed the case and injured people.
Cecil Hotel could have been a tight and concise mystery. It could have been a warning about online communities and the collateral damage they cause when they take on an appraisal. But it is none of the above This is too long a mess of a documentary that does not respect its audience and the history itHe tries to tell but, worst of all, does not respect the victims.