Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel: Series Review - Reel Advice Movie Reviews

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel: Series Review

Consider us disappointed. "Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel" was one of the weakest and disjointed true crime documentaries we have seen in quite a while. It's literally littered with useless information some bordering surreal theories and conspiracies in a ploy to obviously extend its runtime. It was one experience that wasn't telling the story straight or real making it exponentially frustrating as each minute passed.
In 2013, Canadian student Elisa Lam suddenly disappears in her hotel in Los Angeles. Checking the CCTV footage, the police believe that Elisa Lam never left her hotel. Her weird and odd behavior in the footage grabs the attention of cyber-sleuths who craft their own theories on her disappearance. What happened to Elisa Lam and could it be connected to the Cecil Hotel's grim and dark history?
The moment "Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel" mentioned about the Cecil Hotel's dark roots, we knew something was up. A true crime documentary critically has the word "true" in it so a documentary that kept pushing and pushing the idea that staying at the hotel was a bad omen had us weirded out. But worse, the documentary eventually devolves into a conspiracy-filled show - cyber theories that weren't even convincing at all and some even had us rolling our eyes with their utter stupidity. This mini-series should have been two episodes long at most with the first and last episodes as the ones that should have been retained. Ironically, what salvaged the show for us wasn't really the Elisa Lam case and how it was solved but how it tackled the issue of cyber-bullying and the importance of understanding mental health concerns. Overall, there was just too much fluff in this docuseries to be compelling. You're better off watching a 15-minute video in YouTube instead of spending hours in this one.       
Rating: 1 reel

Why you should watch it:
- if you haven't heard of Elisa Lam, this may intrigue you
- the last episode showed its potential but it was a little too late

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- we didn't need 4 episodes maybe two at most
- some episodes just contained unnecessary material that wasn't connected to the case at all

    

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