Your Quarters Worth

Maybe Don’t Visit the Cecil Hotel

There’s buzz over this docu-series called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel currently streaming. I didn’t know details other than it is pretty twisted, so I had to see what it was all about.

Crime Scene came out on Netflix last month. It’s a four part miniseries directed by Joe Berlinger (Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile; Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes) and due to violence and brief nudity it earned itself a TV-MA rated.

The show’s story centers on the mysterious 2013 disappearance of 21 year old Canadian tourist Elisa Lam, while visiting Los Angeles on break from college, and the infamous Hotel Cecil where she stayed. The hotel is as much the star of the series as is the surreal investigation and eventual emotionally charged resolution.

The Cecil’s century long history is chock full of murders, suicides, and drug overdoses, lending to an overall shroud of darkness and sense of evil being within the walls of the historic fifteen floor building.

5280 Geeks, have you ever stayed at the spooky and famed Stanley Hotel in Estes Park? That’s a trip to a Disney theme park in comparison to the Hotel Cecil. The Cecil has been the setting to hundreds of deaths since opening its rooms for business back in 1924. Such luminaries as Richard “The Night Stalker” Ramirez and Elizabeth “Black Dahlia” Short have called the Cecil home.

Crime Scene‘s first two episodes are pure nitro-charged nightmare fuel. Subsequently, I was left feeling the second half would be a letdown by comparison. I retired to bed with a head full of ghastly images, determined to finish the show late the following evening. Unfortunately, my instinct was realized in the series’ concluding episodes.

Without spoiling the story, Crime Scene spun itself into a story sensationalizing violent crime. It provided yet another platform for a bunch of lame Youtubers and wannabe online influencers. The “Internet Sleuths” seen on the show are as guilty of using the disappearance of Lam to improve their own status as Netflix and the show’s creators. Then again, here I was watching Crime Scene and am unintentionally promoting it here as well.

The show makers attempt to absolve themselves of Crime Scene‘s icky If It Bleeds It Leads overtones with a moral lesson shoehorned into the finale.

If I had walked away from the show after episodes 1 and 2 I would have felt some FOMO. Yet it would have been more in line with my previous commitments not to consume crappy media (link geek resolutions). Instead I ignored my better judgement and wasted another two hours feeding the dark media machine.

Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel is a show and I watched it. I enjoyed it about as much as rubbernecking a nasty car accident. I definitely needed a shower after it concluded.

I give Crime Scene 3 out of 5 Quarters. Watch it if you want, but know this 5280 Geeks, you cannot unsee it.

Thanks for checking out this edition of Your Quarter’s Worth. We’ll be back again soon with something more to the usual standard. . .hopefully.

Until then. . .don’t stay at the Hotel Cecil. . .and as always stay geeky.

Written by John Andreula

Edited by Kodid Laraque-Two Elk

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