Netflix has finally released one of the most awaited true-crime docuseries of this year: the documentary about the Cecil Hotel and the gruesome real-life events that have transpired inside the hotel. Just the name of the infamous Los Angeles hotel is enough to spark a wave of fear and disturbance among those who know about its reputation for being the place of acts of violence, murder, and suicides.
Crime Scene: Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Director: Joe Berlinger
Genre: True-Crime Documentary
The plot of The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel recounts the story of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian student, who had disappeared on January 31, 2013, and her body was found weeks later, floating in the hotel’s water tank. Little to no evidence was found on what could have happened to Elisa Lam, only a bizarre video Elisa Lam caught on an elevator security camera, just before her disappearance. In the creepy video that went viral back in 2013, we see Lam behaving abnormally, as she does weird hand gestures, steps into the hotel elevator and presses a whole series of buttons, and is seen apparently attempting to hide from an unseen threat.
This wasn’t the first time death lured around the Hotel Cecil like a shadow. Over the decades, Cecil has been a scene of multiple suicides, overdoses, murders, and has even hosted two serial killers, one of them being Richard Ramirez; the man on whom Netflix had released another documentary.
“We’ve got missing persons, suicides, overdoses”, says one interviewee in the docuseries, “drug dealers, prostitutes, rapists, murderers.”. “The Cecil is a place where, you know, serial killers let their hair down”, says another.
Is ‘The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel’ worth the watch
Although even towards the end we don’t find out any solid reason for what could have caused Elisa Lam’s death, we do get a lot of insight into the events that have transpired inside the hotel. If you start the series, it’s important that you watch the whole thing to actually understand what might have happened. Even though the documentary does provide us with some answers, it does not end with giving us the culprit of the crime; since they were never found. A lot of theories have been made to get to a possibility of what might have actually led to Ms. Lam’s death, and that’s what the viewers are also left doing. The documentary will leave you feeling sad; sad for an innocent young woman who lost her life, and the reason for it never being discovered.
Most people theorize that the Hotel was haunted and some paranormal activity led to Lam’s death. However, Berlinger makes it clear that the hotel is nothing but a place that has seen some really sad and tragic events.
So if unsolved mysteries interest you, and moreover, if you want to know more about this supposedly ‘cursed’ hotel, you can definitely go watch this four-part docuseries.
Is Cecil hotel still open?
No, as per the sources, the Cecil hotel is still in downtown Los Angeles and now renamed to ‘Stay on the Main Hotel’, but closed as of now. The hotel was closed in 2017 and remained closed since then.
Also Read: 10 Best Documentaries on Netflix