Review: The Cecil Hotel offers up more than just a simple ‘Crime Scene’ | #College. | #Students | #parenting | #parenting | #kids

The Netflix doc showcases the notoriety of the most infamous LA hotel

Netflix Twitter | Photo Courtesy
The majority of the docuseries follows the mysterious death of Elisa Lam.

While downtown Los Angeles’ hotel scene may be upbeat and lively, the Cecil Hotel has proven to be anything but. Over past decades, dozens of stories have spread surrounding the notoriety of the Cecil Hotel – most of which have yet to be explained.

Netflix’s latest viral docuseries takes the reigns of both true-crime and paranormal. The hotel, which is considered to be prime real estate for those residing on Skid Row in Los Angeles, has built up quite a reputation over the years. While there are plenty of stories to discuss in-depth, the series focuses on the disappearance of college student Elisa Lam.

Over a brisk four hours, the series showcases potential possibilities and reasons for Lam’s ultimate demise. One of the most well-known aspects of the Elisa Lam case at the time was the chilling elevator security camera footage.

The nearly five-minute video displays Lam acting erratically, as well spine-tingling timing of the elevator door attempting to open and shut. To this day, the security camera footage is debated to involve paranormal forces, tampering, or just plain luck. The video is just as unsettling and unnerving as it is confusing and debatable.

The series offers countless side interviews that contribute to the show’s story and provide information on the events surrounding the Cecil Hotel. However, few sources provided any factual evidence or had a personal connection with Lam, among others.

It goes to show that, while the story can be engaging and interesting, all of the information can be found within three clicks of a Google search alongside much more information.

While Lam’s case, as well as the paranormal aspect of the hotel itself, may be chilling and intriguing to someone who’s hearing about it for the first time, the story is hardly new. The Cecil Hotel has had its story shared time and time again.

Most notably, the hotel set the backdrop for the fifth season of “American Horror Story”. Its most recent retelling was in the form of a highlighted special episode of “Ghost Adventures” in December of 2020. With that being said, there’s only so much information that can be brought forth with each new installment.

While it remains intriguing and offers a chilling story, its runtime is what holds it together. Above all else, the docuseries provides a neatly wrapped history lesson on the most notorious hotel in Los Angeles for all of the wrong reasons.

Review: 3/5

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