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Last Halloween a truly bizarre video went viral. The clip showed the last known moments in the life of Elisa Lam, a 21-year-old Canadian college student whose mysterious death became the focus of countless conspiracy theories. We suggested this unnerving tale could be the source of a truly terrifying horror movie, and it turns out Hollywood agrees.
Deadline reports Sony Pictures and Matt Tolmach Productions have snatched up a spec script by Brandon and Philip Murphy called The Bringing, a horror-thriller inspired by the curious and creepy case of Elisa Lam.
In case you somehow managed to avoid this unsolved mystery, here are the basics: Lam was a Canadian college student who went missing on January 31st, 2013. Before her disappearance, she was last seen in Los Angeles' Cecil Hotel, where she was caught on elevator surveillance footage behaving very strangely. See for yourself below:
Some have argued that Lam is clearly hiding from someone (or something) in the clip, and that she exits the elevator to speak to them. But as there's no sound, it's impossible to know what--if anything--was said. Some have speculated that there's something supernatural going on here, between the elevator's refusal to close the door and go to the floors Lam's pressed buttons for, and the jarring way she moves her hands after she's left the elevator. Skeptics have insisted Lam must be emotionally disturbed or on drugs here, but the coroner's report didn't find any evidence of drugs or alcohol in her system.
Things just get stranger. Her body was ultimately discovered weeks later at the Cecil... in the hotel's rooftop water tanks. A maintenance worker found her when investigating claims from guests about the tap water tasting odd.
Stranger still, Lam's death is just one of the stain's on the hotel's history. In 1985, a serial killer known as "The Nightstalker" took up residence in the Cecil's top floor, and used the place as a hunting ground, killing 13 women. A copycat killer followed in his footsteps, murdering three sex workers. Then there's the draw the hotel has had for suicides, as people visited the hotel throughout the 1950s and '60s to leap out of its windows to their deaths.
It's unknown what portions of the Cecil Hotel's ghastly history Murphy and Murphy will spotlight in The Bringing, but the title seems to imply evil spirits will be involved. As some of cinema's most disturbing horror thrillers found their inspiration in true and terrifying tales--from The Conjuring and The Amityville Horror to The Silence of the Lambs and Psycho--The Bringing is in good company. But it will be interesting to see if it can meet the high bar of these aforementioned films, or if it will be a disappointment like The Haunting in Connecticut.