Director: Joe Berlinger
Streaming: Netflix
Release Date: 2021

Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel starts off fascinating but dwindles into boring. It is the opposite of Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer. This documentary begins with the most fascinating part of its story, the debaucherously hideous Cecil Hotel. It ends with the lest fascinating part of the story, Elisa Lam.

Sure, you can read that as cold-hearted. But this is a determent of the docu-series. There is not nearly enough in this documentary to make Elisa Lam interesting. There are no interviews with members of her family. None with her close friends. The only education we get on this young women is from a voiceover of her Tumblr posts. It does not matter if it is mean to say if it is true.

How about a nice, concise, two hour documentary just on the Cecil? This hotel and its manager, staff, residents and horrors are fascinating. Those things are highlighted most in the second episode of this docuseries, and after that this show dwindles into nothing.

  • The LAPD really did screw the pooch not having the scent dogs find Elisa in the water tank. That is rather embarrassing.
  • Maybe I am just not a fan of Joe Berlinger and his documentary style? Didn’t love Crime Scene: The Vanishing At The Cecil Hotel and his other most notable venture, Conversations With A Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes.
  • Amy Price, the former Cecil Hotel manager, has massive crazy eyes.
  • The shoe-horning in cyber-bullying and Internet sleuthing made me disinterested. Again, just show me the hotel and the history behind it more.

Stanko Rating: C- (2.0/5 Stars)


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