Crime Scene The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
A very interesting and intriguing show to watch on Netflix is “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel.” I had not heard of this particular hotel in LA, located just on the skirts of the infamous Skid Row area, nor of the mysterious disappearance of the young Elisa Lam, who checked into the hotel while on a trip going up the coast of California and disappeared a few days later.
The story begins with the history of the hotel and how it went from being one of the most extravagant in the United States, at a time when LA was just beginning to boom, to a run down place where homeless people would hang out, prostitution was prevalent and robberies, murders, etc. took over. In fact, at one time the hotel, which has over 700 rooms, was deemed by the city to keep a certain part of the hotel available to tenants who had been renting either by the day, week or month as that was the only place the had to live. What I liked about the intro is that the description and details given about the hotel kind of creeps you it. It does look spooky on the inside – once you are above the lobby – and a lot of people believe it is actually haunted or has a mysterious presence in it due to the number of suicides and murders that have taken place there. It is obvious in the interviews with the staff, local news channels, and residents that the hotel has a bad reputation.
What really made it even more infamous is the case of Elisa Lam. She was a young lady who wanted to leave her home in Canada and travel down the coast to LA to explore the world and find herself. This is back in 2013 and little did she know that after the events took place that did that she would herself become famous but definitely not in a good way. I won’t give any spoilers as this is the basis of the show but I will say it also is creepy. Even now you can watch the creepy real life video of her in the elevator in YouTube, which is the last time she was seen.
The thing I did not care for though about the series is that it, while only four episodes long so not too much of an investment, really kind of went all over the place and in terms of stories and relied a lot on web sleuths and YouTubers to provide a good bit of input on what they thought happened and why it was so important to them that the case be solved. Many people wanted there to be more to it than it was and they almost seemed disappointed with what happened, which in itself was disturbing to me. Wait until you learn about the black Metal performer, Morbid, and his role in this whole thing.
Anyway, I will say overall it is a good mystery and interesting show. I was impressed to learn that it was executive produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, both of numerous films in Hollywood.I can see why they thought of being involved with this series as it does capture your attention.