‘Dark Water’: The Terror of Walter Saller with the case of Elisa Lam

Dark Water

The movie ‘Dark Water’ is a remake of the Japanese work Honogurai Mizu no soko kara (2002), from the horror genre released in 2005, which had the actress Jennifer Connelly as its greatest highlight. The plot, which was directed by the well-known Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles, tells the story of Dahlia Williams, a mother who, after separating from her husband, decides to dedicate herself exclusively to the education of her daughter Ceci. The two then start a new life in a new apartment.

Everything follows a gradual rhythm of events until everything really goes wrong. They start noticing unusual things in the apartment, especially the water that starts to leak all over the place having a very dark color. What follows then is the instability of thoughts that form in the protagonist’s mind about whether these experiences are real or supernatural.

‘Dark Water’ did not have any supernatural events as is common in certain works of the same genre, but the film has more disturbing connections than one might imagine. There are also some very intriguing references that are in the work, revealing that its story was not designed to be that way by chance.


The Los Angeles Police Department on 2/14/2013 released a 2.5 minute video on their official website in hopes that it would help with a missing case. It turns out that the aforementioned recording is thought-provoking. The images that were captured by a closed circuit camera that was located and positioned inside an elevator, capture the last time the young Elisa Lam was seen.

Dark Water

In the elevator she is shown to have a restless demeanor; pressing all the buttons on the panel, huddling in the corners near the door, looking up and down the hall and performing unusual hand gestures; not being able to identify if she is talking to herself with someone outside the reach and focus of the camera.

The video then went viral, serving as material for YouTube channels around the world (especially those specializing in true crimes) and elevating what was until then a disappearance case, to a mystery case worthy of a horror production.

The person in question, who is at the center of the whole story, is university student Elisa Lam who decided to embark on a trip to the west coast of the United States before starting the academic year at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada. Her focus was to take a trip between Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Santa Cruz; she left soundlessly on this walk.

In January 2013 she arrives in Los Angeles from San Diego, with the next focus on the city of Santa Cruz. With limited resources, she stays at the Hotel Cecil, which is located in the Skid Row region, a very dangerous neighborhood in downtown Los Angeles. Cecil is famous for offering affordable stays to visitors who otherwise couldn’t afford to go anywhere else.

Great Turning and Real Case

The turning point came on February 19, when some guests complained about the low pressure and dark coloring of the water. An employee then goes to the terrace to check the water tank and finds Elisa’s body. It’s quite interesting how the movie ‘Dark Water’  predicted how the case developed, especially by getting right that water would be an important factor in this story.

However, Walter Salles’ film has some other more conscious references to the hotel where the crime took place. The Hotel Cecil is quite unseemly for its track record with its guests, as the high offer of rooms plus the low price of daily rent attracts people who otherwise couldn’t stay anywhere else.

Dark Water

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One of his most famous clients was the serial killer Richard Ramirez, the Nightstalker. The hotel has a good dose of petty crimes up to murders behind its back, the most famous being the Black Dahlia case (hence the name of the protagonist of Água Negra) in 1947, when the victim Elizabeth Short was reportedly seen at the hotel before her death. demise.

Cause of Death

The case of Elisa Lam, had – as incredible as it seems – an official outcome the cause of accidental death for having had a bipolar outbreak. She already suffered from this condition and took prescription drugs to control severe episodes.

Lately, Netflix – which you can find for free on the Youcine apk – has released the documentary miniseries Crime Scene: Mystery and Death at Hotel Cecil (2021), in which the plot and history of the hotel is deeper. And this is one of the cases in which life imitates art.

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