Spine-chilling documentary tops Netflix charts


Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Depicted is the Cecil Hotel.

by Kevin Lederer, Social Media Manager (Facebook)

Total rating –  4/5 stars

Rating Criteria – Each 10 points

Interviews – 10

Cutaways – 7

Sound and Music – 6

Editing – 8

Structure – 9

New to the Netflix scene in 2021 is a unique and fascinating true crime documentary series that is split up into four parts called “Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel,” directed by Joe Berlinger. The four hour-long episodes do a great job of capturing your attention as we learn about the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles, California. We learn about the history of the hotel and what led it to become such a nightmare for Elisa Lam and many others.

The show goes into depth about one of the most famous cases at the hotel which is the death of Elisam Lam. The show does a great job of bringing across this feeling that you are there alongside the police and with the hotel managers as it is happening. They make you feel this way by having well-constructed and well-shot scenes that build thriller and constant suspense like when the police are in the first few days looking for Elisa Lam.

Throughout the whole documentary you get lost in the storm of the show with the amazing interviews. I do not think that they could have found a more interesting and relevant line up of people to interview for the audience to get a grasp of how people were affected by Elisa Lam.

While the show does a great job of making you feel like you are watching a movie instead of a documentary, there are many flawed aspects that could take you out of the trance of watching the documentary. Things like dramatic music at random times feel very out of place and are bothersome when you are trying to follow along.

Another turn off from the documentary is when trying to find out what happened to Elisa Lam the cops reach a dead end and have to turn to outside sources to try and help. The overdramatic cut scenes of people trying to figure out what happened are over exaggerated and take away from the spine chilling feeling you get when you first start watching.

The overall take away from such a documentary is a lot deeper than the surface because it will leave you thinking about the mystery surrounded by the hotel when you are done watching. The way you will view this documentary will be different from any other because of how personal the interviews are and how this tragedy was not that long ago.

I would recommend this to anyone that is interested in horror or anyone that likes learning about the Los Angeles area more. This is definitely something that you can watch during your spare time because of how short it is.

I would give this documentary a 4/5 because even though it does a great job of keeping you watching and interested it does a sub par job of relating to a younger audience. This is definitely something that should have been improved being that it was released this year to Netflix. All together this show comes together well and definitely should be on your Netflix watch list.