June 25, 2024

Since the early days of the found-footage subgenre, films have attempted to pass off as actual footage. This attempt to present real footage has proven effective in the horror genre. Horror has become synonymous with the tagline “Based on True Events” and found footage movies go a step further to maintain realism to maximize scares. These films have been with audiences for over twenty years, and have been particularly appealing due to the immersive elements that the subgenre offers. A clear connection can be drawn between the combination of found footage in a crude and often crude style and the rise in popularity of true crime stories; Over the past thirty years, interest in true crime has grown rapidly with the evolution of documentaries, podcasts, and books. incredibly popular

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The implementation of social media agents has also influenced found footage horror films with additions to the subgenre. Screenlife films were almost born out of the rise of social media with films like The Collingswood Story, looking forand lastly Missingserving as a commentary on the dark side of social media and the disturbing impact it can have on people’s lives. Antoine Le‘s Continue takes all of these ingredients and creates one of the most powerful found footage horror films in recent memory, particularly inspired by the dark history of the Cecil Hotel.

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What is the Cecil Hotel and why is it so infamous?

Since the opening of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in 1924, there have been many cases of crime, suicide and unsolved mysteries. The first suicide occurred three years after the opening Fifty-two-year-old Percy Ormond Cook shot himself in one of the rooms. In the decades that followed, the hotel gained notoriety for its staggering number of suicides. In addition to the tragic events, there have been many shady people who have checked into the hotel or been seen; Austrian serial killer Jack Unterweger was a guest there, murder suspect Eric Reed escaped from prison and was found at the hotel, and the famous “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez was a frequent visitor to the hotel and even lived there for a short time. Its cheap price is 14 dollars per night. Modern assessments of the history of the Cecil Hotel theorize that a possible supernatural presence is responsible for the dark and violent events. Interest in the hotel and its history has been heightened recently, especially since Netflix’s 2021 docuseries. Crime Scene: The Cecil Hotel Disappearanceespecially about the death of Elisa Lam.

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Scared looking woman talking to camera on Followed
Image via Global View Entertainment

Death of Elisa Lam

The tragic and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of twenty-one-year-old Lam have been widely debated and remain a truly disgusting case. By the time Lam entered the Cecil Hotel, it had been renamed Stay on Main. As depicted in the Netflix docuseries, as well as other true crime investigative series, he was prescribed medication for bipolar disorder and depression, and in the days leading up to his disappearance, his strange behavior was noticed by other guests and hotel staff. . He disappeared on January 31, 2013. The LAPD conducted a search and found few clues to his whereabouts. Almost two weeks after his disappearance, A video of Lam entering a hotel elevator went public. The video attracted widespread attention and went viral due to Lam’s inexplicable behavior. In the two-minute clip, he moves very erratically, pretends to be hiding from someone, and presses various buttons in the elevator, with nothing happening. Less than a week after this video was released, his body was found in a water tank on the roof of the hotel.

After his body was found, he died of accidental drowning. However, there are still many unanswered questions and despite the coroner’s conclusion, people are not convinced that his death was an accident. It has been noted how the case shares similar elements to classic J-horror dark water and the subsequent American remake. Lam’s case has served as inspiration for the episodes American Horror Story, the castleand How to get away with murderand industrial rock group SKYND released their first single titled “Elisa Lam” about the case. The mystery of Lam’s death and the possible role played by the Cecil Hotel is one of them Continuethe most prominent explorations of

A woman standing in an elevator, inspired by the death of Elisa Lam, in the movie Followed
Image via Global View Entertainment

How ‘Followed’ was inspired by the Cecil Hotel

As is almost mandatory in the found footage subgenre, an explanatory card is shown before the film begins. Generally, this title card explains how the footage was found, who was filming it, and their purpose for filming it. Continue’s presentation explains that the footage was uploaded to a social media website before it was taken down. The short block of text goes on to explain that the footage could previously only be found on the dark web and “Until now :). The said footage is traced to a vlogger named DropTheMike (Matthew Salomon) and his crew as they attempt to spend Halloween weekend at the supposedly haunted Lennox Hotel.

Mike has a very eccentric personality and the reason he vlogs in the draft hotel is to increase his subscribers. At first, Mike and his team are hoping to capture some surprising activities on video to increase the vlog’s popularity, and the behavior some of them display is disrespectful to the hotel’s history, especially when they learn about David Olmos (Ethan Alexander), a serial killer who lived in the room where they stay. They scoff at danger signs, make jokes about tragic hotel deaths and bribe a security guard to enter restricted areas. Mike’s arrogance and egotistical nature, for example, seems to comment on current content creators Logan PaulThe video he shot in Japan’s Aokighara forest caused outrage.

One of the reasons the Lennox Hotel is the perfect location for Mike and his team is the discovery of the body of a Korean tourist named Meghan Kim (Sarah Chang). Kim’s story is clearly inspired by Lam’s death at the Cecil Hotel, right down to Kim’s final vigil in an elevator. The theory that has emerged about Lam’s death is that he was playing a game where the player presses a sequence of buttons in an elevator in order to end up in a new dimension. This game Mike attempts in one of the most tense scenes of the film. He follows the rules of the game and gradually becomes concerned with the unusual activity around him. This claustrophobic and dizzying sequence reveals it.

Continue It’s a smart commentary on social media because of the way characters deliberately put themselves in dangerous situations. After the Netflix docuseries, the events of the film were somewhat reflected in the way YouTubers gathered at the Cecil Hotel to shoot videos. YouTubers such as Peet Montzingo, Kelsi Davies, TFIL and Omar Gosh have made videos at the Cecil Hotel since the surge in public interest. Continue it does a great job of mimicking the way videos like this are shot. Despite its clear inspiration, the film still offers a twist on reality, and manages to make an impactful statement in its aftermath. A brilliant demonic apparition in the dying moments serves to prove that the creators of the cycle’s content are inevitably found, even five years later. Continues note is undoubtedly more important in its message. In the same way that found footage doesn’t always fool viewers, many weren’t fooled by the supernatural tales of the Cecil Hotel. However, the hotel’s dark history is almost tailor-made for found footage Continue He deftly blurs true crime stories with his found footage fiction.

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