Followed is what popped up in my Amazon Prime feed today. It was probably there many times before however I go through phases of choosing videos by spending inordinately large amounts of time trying to find one via searching/researching and other times simply choosing what’s been recommended by whatever algorithm the video service is offering.
This particular story revolves around the infamous Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles. Though the name of the hotel was changed to the Hotel Lennox in this film, the hauntings, serial killer connections and weird YouTube tropes and legends about this particular hotel easily leads one to the conclusion that it is in fact the Hotel Cecil. Knowing some of the backstory of the hotel naturally aroused my curiosity so I pressed play hoping once more to be impressed and scared, or at the minimum, entertained.
One of the more infamous deaths at the Hotel Cecil was that of Elisa Lam (God rest her soul). I’m sure many of you have seen the disturbing real life video of her doing something weird with an elevator at the Hotel Cecil. She was the one found floating dead in the water tower. Additionally Richard Ramirez enters our story, the real Night Stalker serial killer. In fact the room our video blogging superstars decide to stay in is room 1428. That was the room Richard Ramirez hacked up his victims in with a Milwaukee Sawzall. So we have an infamous mysterious and shady/haunted hotel, and some actual headline stories weaved throughout our tale. The details of the actual stories and names of course have been changed in the interest of giving us this harrowing tale but it’s just enough of real intertwined with make believe which hooked me as I’m sure it will others.
Now comes the part where I tell you if I liked it or not. I liked everything about this film so I hate to be so cliché on this point, but the ending left a lot to be desired. Throughout the film we get great looks at what could be possible motives, hints, and furtherance of the story, but it never develops. What we get is a very polished found footage creepy tale but it lacks in the finishing department, and that’s where I will let my opinion lie.
If your fond of found footage then this is definitely something you should see. Don’t let my review be the reason you don’t see it. This new style of found footage involving social media is definitely a compelling turn for the found footage genre. I know it’s not new, it’s just new to me, so be prepared to see a few more reviews on this sub-genre as I like the idea and now want to see how other film makers do it.
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