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Was Netflix in danger of missing its weekly quota of new documentaries about true crime? That’s the best explanation I can think of for the fortuitous midweek release of Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, a nifty, four-part version of one of the more disturbing cases of the 2010s and yet, The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel has defied minimal marketing and mediocre reviews already the No. 1 reaches 1 place in Netflix’s top 10 table.But then, of course, it was like this: It’s a series of true crimes America falls head over heels in love with this type of documentary, even if this particular example is not equally revealing and crude is

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The documentaries tell the story of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old woman who disappeared from her room at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles in February 2013. After a two-week search, Lam’s body was found drowned in a water tank on the roof of the hotel How she managed to get into the tank remains a mystery between the disturbing viral video of Lam behaving strangely when exiting and entering an elevator on the night of her disappearance and her active presence on Tumblr became the story of Elisa Lam loved by conspiracy theorists determined to find out how she died

There is even a well-known documentary filmmaker on board for Crime Scene, who gives him a certain clout Joe Berlinger, the Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker behind the acclaimed Paradise Lost trilogy, directed and produced the series after his success with the Netflix documentary Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes

Yes, although the line between conspiracy theorists and “true crime fans” may admittedly be blurred. In the case of Elisa Lam’s death, many online experts have been drawn in over the years because of this strange video and the apparent implausibility of her being alone crawls into this water tank The show is all about giving the idea airtime so that Elisa Lam didn’t accidentally drown herself – maybe she was !!! KILLS !!!

Berlinger devotes considerable time to the various theories that have swirled around Lam’s death.There are countless haunting voiceovers from actors reading Lam’s Tumblr entries about their depression.There is a lengthy interview with a heavy metal singer on the many insist that Lam was killed for reasons too nonsensical to summarize here.There are countless clips from a movie that many people (perhaps Berlinger too) believe Lam was trying to recreate her own death, which is the kind of things that are easy to get dragged into and the time the series spends with all those breadcrumbs and red herrings is as enticing as scrolling through a subreddit – a visual wormhole

It’s very terrifying crime scene suffers from many of the same shortcomings as The Ted Bundy Tapes: it’s shamelessly exploitative and bypasses empathy for the viewer or victim in order to present the best possible version of that story, it’s uneven, half the show focuses on the brass nails of the story (why was Elisa at this hotel? What did her Tumblr reveal about her? How did she die?) and the other half gives the many YouTubers airtime Podcasters and the occasional real-life forensic scientist who fantasized about the conspiracies that must have killed Lam I can imagine this show spurring new armchair investigators to obsessing over Lam eight years after their death.The presentation recalls how The Ted Bundy did Tapes led many of his viewers to believe that this infamous serial killer was really hot (January 2019, when this show premiered, was really a dark time in our nation’s history)

So but is that good? You said the filmmaker was once nominated for an Oscar!

It’s not the most engaging or even informative series, no there are obviously tons of articles and videos on the story online as this series makes it clear that these are much more succinct ways of knowing what happened to Lam and why it was Such an exciting case is as a Crime Scene Four hours is about three and a half hours too long for this story

Don’t take my word for it, either: one look at Rotten Tomatoes shows that neither critics nor audiences seem happy they saw it

Not really There aren’t any major revelations and Lam’s footage is the exact same video that can be viewed online The series pulls a lot from their Tumblr, but that’s still open to the public too There really isn’t much to this story, that has not yet been reported

I think the answer to that is simple: it goes without saying that a document or documentary with real crime will attract a large streaming audience, the subject seems irresistible even if you don’t feel good after watching it, I hope only that it does not take for granted that these publications deal more with the theories of self-proclaimed internet detectives than with the truth. And the truth in this case is that a young woman died a horrific death that her loved ones must grieve and relive every time if we relit him But how is it fun to think about it, as Crime Scene asks?

OK, if I skip it I still want to know: How did Lam actually die?

What we do know is: Elisa Lam suffered from bipolar disorder and depression in early 2013 she booked a room by herself at the Cecil Hotel She took a strange elevator ride in the middle of the night Then she was in the hotel’s rooftop water tank weeks later Found Maybe she slipped and fell, or maybe she drowned on purpose – we’ll likely never find out

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Elisa Lam

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