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Florida school shooting survivors are continuing to rally against lawmakers who accept NRA money, and John Oliver is leading a chorus of those who hope this tragedy’s aftermath will bring gun control results. Still, questions linger about how gunman Nikolas Cruz was able to legally purchase his AR-15 despite a lengthy behavioral record and being on the FBI’s radar, and as he appeared in court on Monday, it became apparent that Cruz he’d amassed an actual arsenal of weaponry.
Different numbers are being noted by different outlets, but CBS News reports word from law enforcement that Cruz obtained seven rifles during the past year. However, CNN says that he may have actually acquired (per a law enforcement source) up to ten rifles during the lead-up to the massacre:
Nikolas Cruz made a brief appearance in court for a procedural matter Monday, shortly after a law enforcement source told CNN that the 19-year-old school shooter obtained 10 rifles in the last year or so.
Cruz purchased two weapons from Gun World of South Florida in Deerfield Beach, said Kim Waltuch, the store’s CEO. She would not provide details on the types of guns he purchased or on the time frame, but said the sales followed normal protocol for Florida firearms purchases.
Investigators are still working to trace all of of Cruz’s firearm purchases to determine whether they were legal, but the emerging pattern is that Cruz had no difficulties during his transactions. This, of course, will only serve to further fuel the gun control argument and accusations that Congress won’t do anything for fear of “eroding” Second Amendment rights and making those lucrative NRA donations disappear.
Meanwhile, the family who took Cruz in last year (after the death of his adoptive mother) is now struggling to comprehend whether they missed any warning signs. As James Snead told NBC News, “The Nik we knew was not the monster he turned out to be.” Their position is an impossible one, but it’s also hard to fathom how Cruz managed to hide his intent from the people he lived with when he also habitually introduced himself as “a school shooter.” On Monday’s GMA episode, Kimberly Snead said she went to the police station after Cruz’s arrest and wanted to “strangle” him, but she could only ask, “Really, Nick, really?” She’s still in shock over “what he’s done.” Watch below.
FULL INTERVIEW: “I still can’t believe what he’s done.” The family that took in the Florida shooting suspect speaks out, sitting down with @michaelstrahan in their first TV interview since the shooting: https://t.co/ACQcOyfQRq pic.twitter.com/axoxIzYEvf
— Good Morning America (@GMA) February 19, 2018
Heart attacks, strokes and other cardiovascular (CV) diseases continue to be among the top public health issues. Assessing this risk is critical first step toward reducing the likelihood that a patient suffers a CV event in the future. To do this assessment, doctors take into account a variety of risk factors — some genetic (like age and sex), some with lifestyle components (like smoking and blood pressure). While most of these factors can be obtained by simply asking the patient, others factors, like cholesterol, require a blood draw. Doctors also take into account whether or not a patient has another disease, such as diabetes, which is associated with significantly increased risk of CV events.
Recently, we’ve seen many examples [1–4] of how deep learning techniques can help to increase the accuracy of diagnoses for medical imaging, especially for diabetic eye disease. In “Prediction of Cardiovascular Risk Factors from Retinal Fundus Photographs via Deep Learning”, published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, we show that in addition to detecting eye disease, images of the eye can very accurately predict other indicators of CV health. This discovery is particularly exciting because it suggests we might discover even more ways to diagnose health issues from retinal images.
Using deep learning algorithms trained on data from 284,335 patients, we were able to predict CV risk factors from retinal images with surprisingly high accuracy for patients from two independent datasets of 12,026 and 999 patients. For example, our algorithm could distinguish the retinal images of a smoker from that of a non-smoker 71% of the time. In addition, while doctors can typically distinguish between the retinal images of patients with severe high blood pressure and normal patients, our algorithm could go further to predict the systolic blood pressure within 11 mmHg on average for patients overall, including those with and without high blood pressure.
In addition to predicting the various risk factors (age, gender, smoking, blood pressure, etc) from retinal images, our algorithm was fairly accurate at predicting the risk of a CV event directly. Our algorithm used the entire image to quantify the association between the image and the risk of heart attack or stroke. Given the retinal image of one patient who (up to 5 years) later experienced a major CV event (such as a heart attack) and the image of another patient who did not, our algorithm could pick out the patient who had the CV event 70% of the time. This performance approaches the accuracy of other CV risk calculators that require a blood draw to measure cholesterol.
More importantly, we opened the “black box” by using attention techniques to look at how the algorithm was making its prediction. These techniques allow us to generate a heatmap that shows which pixels were the most important for a predicting a specific CV risk factor. For example, the algorithm paid more attention to blood vessels for making predictions about blood pressure, as shown in the image above. Explaining how the algorithm is making its prediction gives doctor more confidence in the algorithm itself. In addition, this technique could help generate hypotheses for future scientific investigations into CV risk and the retina.
At the broadest level, we are excited about this work because it may represent a new method of scientific discovery. Traditionally, medical discoveries are often made through a sophisticated form of guess and test — making hypotheses from observations and then designing and running experiments to test the hypotheses. However, with medical images, observing and quantifying associations can be difficult because of the wide variety of features, patterns, colors, values and shapes that are present in real images. Our approach uses deep learning to draw connections between changes in the human anatomy and disease, akin to how doctors learn to associate signs and symptoms with the diagnosis of a new disease. This could help scientists generate more targeted hypotheses and drive a wide range of future research.
With these promising results, a lot of scientific work remains. Our dataset had many images labeled with smoking status, systolic blood pressure, age, gender and other variables, but it only had a few hundred examples of CV events. We look forward to developing and testing our algorithm on larger and more comprehensive datasets. To make this useful for patients, we will be seeking to understand the effects of interventions such as lifestyle changes or medications on our risk predictions and we will be generating new hypotheses and theories to test.
 Gulshan, V. et al. Development and Validation of a Deep Learning Algorithm for Detection of Diabetic Retinopathy in Retinal Fundus Photographs. JAMA 316, 2402–2410 (2016).
 Ting, D. S. W. et al. Development and Validation of a Deep Learning System for Diabetic Retinopathy and Related Eye Diseases Using Retinal Images From Multiethnic Populations With Diabetes. JAMA 318, 2211–2223 (2017).
 Esteva, A. et al. Dermatologist-level classification of skin cancer with deep neural networks. Nature (2017). doi:10.1038/nature21056
 Ehteshami Bejnordi, B. et al. Diagnostic Assessment of Deep Learning Algorithms for Detection of Lymph Node Metastases in Women With Breast Cancer. JAMA 318, 2199–2210 (2017).
from Google Research Blog http://research.googleblog.com/2018/02/assessing-cardiovascular-risk-factors.html
Last Updated: February 19th
“Action movie” means something different to everyone. The term runs the spectrum of CGI explosion-filled spectacles and highly choreographed fight scenes to movies with heroes who deliver cheesy one-liners right before the last rocket-powered grenade is fired. It can mean shutting your brain off, or it can mean complex stories that use action to benefit the plot.
Luckily, Netflix has most subgenres covered when it comes to good action films, whether you want kung fu, superhero-ing, or anything in between. That’s why we put together a list of the best action movies on Netflix streaming right now. So grab some popcorn and enjoy.
15. Armageddon (1998)
No binge of overblown ’90s action movies would be complete without a sampling from Michael Bay, and Armageddon is one of his best thanks to its lovable ridiculousness and implausibility. As the other “we have to stop the world-ending meteor” movie of 1998 — it arrived a bit after Deep Impact — this is the one that is packed with some of the biggest names of the decade. Despite some of the actors saying that they only did the movie for the paycheck and Bay himself saying he wishes he could redo the error-filled third act, it has a bloated charm to its mess. This is largely due to Steve Buscemi’s appearance, which was contractually obligated in every movie of the ’90s.
14. Men In Black (1997)
It’s the sci-fi action comedy that ticks all the boxes. The classic pairing of the hotshot newbie and the grizzled, no-nonsense veteran. Casual, ridiculous tech and weaponry. A post-credits rap from Will Smith. The Barry Sonnenfeld-directed flick hit some diminishing returns with its sequels, but the first one is still tremendously entertaining thanks to the chemistry between the post-Fresh Prince Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The pair play secret government agents tasked with patrolling the underground alien presence on Earth, and this time that involves a giant cockroach who could cause the end of the world. It’s as fun as it is funny.
13. April And The Extraordinary World (2015)
In an alternate version of 1941 where France has been led by a line of Napoleons and leading scientists mysteriously disappear, young April, her talking cat Darwin, and the shady Julius go searching for April’s missing parents. It’s an interesting take on a history where technological advancement isn’t a thing, where “steampunk” is reality and TVs and cars don’t exist. April’s journey starts in the dreary, stuck-out-of-time France but leads her to fantastical advancements that still make sense in the world we’re presented with. The heart of the film lies in the love that plucky, stubborn April has for those she cares about, and the film’s driven by charming animation and a genuinely interesting concept. It’s enjoyable action that’s just out-there enough for adults while being accessible for the young and young at heart.
12. Battle Royale (2000)
A film that would later spark comparisons from Hunger Games, Battle Royale pits Japanese teenagers against each other under the order of a totalitarian society. After receiving explosive collars and varying weapons, the students start killing and they don’t stop until only one survives. The violence drew controversy across the world and even caused the film to be banned in several countries. But it’s an entertaining gorefest notable for its depiction of how each student deals differently when put in such a ridiculous life-or-death situation.
11. Ip Man (2008)
In a town filled with aspiring martial artists, the best of the best is Ip Man, a father and husband who just wants to keep his quiet way of life even in the midst of the Japanese occupation of China. In discovering that sometimes fighting is the only way to keep the peace, Ip inspires many by taking a stand during war-torn times. As a subtle reflection on war mixed with a healthy dose of fast-paced, mesmerizing combat, Ip Man is actually based on the real life of Yip Man, the grand master who trained Bruce Lee.
10. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
It was a tough job for Anthony and Joe Russo to follow up Winter Soldier — one of the best entries in the MCU — but they put forward an admirable entry with the next Captain America film. When governmental oversight looms over the Avengers, lines are drawn and sides are taken, led by Cap and Tony Stark. With a deep bench of source material and character arcs to flesh out (a problem that has only expanded with Infinity War), Civil War tells an exciting superhero tale that still manages to mix in that espionage element that’s critical to Captain America’s success. Who would have thought you could do so much with a hero whose main attribute is a shield?
9. 13 Assassins (2010)
Controversial director Takashi Miike’s remake of a 1963 film starts as a slow burn and builds to one of the longest, most elaborate sword battles you’ll ever see, complete with weaponized burning bulls. When the psychotic half-brother of the Shogun edges ever closer to assuming too much power in 1840s Japan, a group of samurai band together to assassinate him, shirking their honor for the good of the people. Despite being slightly based on true events, 13 Assassins retains Miike’s trademark uncompromising and slightly stylized brutality, but this is certainly more accessible than some of his well-known works like Ichi The Killer. Like the dying-out warriors of the time, they don’t make samurai films like this anymore.
8. Batman (1989)
The first take on a darker Dark Knight movie than the Adam West version, Batman tells the age-old story of a costumed meets evil clown. It accomplishes Batman’s origin story and Joker face-off in a way only Tim Burton could make. While it was perfect in hindsight, the casting of Michael Keaton was so controversial that Warner Bros. received 50,000 protest letters, proving that fans didn’t need the Internet to get upset. Batman takes its action to the comic book level without getting too ridiculous, anti-Batwing guns aside.
7. V For Vendetta (2005)
In a dystopian future, mysterious, masked V (Hugo Weaving) starts an uprising against a controlling British rule, his only ally being the initially timid Evey (Natalie Portman). Despite existing almost entirely behind a Guy Fawkes mask, Weaving conveys tremendous heart in the role, even as a superhuman vigilante with lots of knives. Although Alan Moore, who wrote the comic book on which the film is based, disowned V For Vendetta (just as he does every adaptation of his works), the James McTeigue film was the last widely praised Wachowski-produced movie, as they used their love of strong violence and allegory to bring the book to life.
6. Hot Fuzz (2007)
The second of Edgar Wright’s “Cornetto Trilogy,” Hot Fuzz acts as a send-up of all the over-the-top action films that came before it, from Bad Boys II to Point Break. When loner supercop Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) gets reassigned to a much safer town, all he can do is eat ice cream and chase a dastardly swan with his new partner (Nick Frost) until the bodies start piling up. Pegg proves that he can be a master of comedic characters, contrasting the slackers of Shaun Of The Dead and The World’s End with this by-the-book policeman-officer. While parodying the clichés, Fuzz doesn’t rely solely on bits or callbacks to tell a layered story, with the charming chemistry between Pegg and Frost at the center of it. Plus, it gives us a contender for one of the funniest scenes in all British comedy.
5. Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 1 surprised many with its stellar soundtrack and genuinely funny dialogue, and director James Gunn manages to live up to the original while still spinning a rather unique tale. The sequel finds the familiar rag-tag Guardians as they make enemies and wisecracks while exploring the origins of Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and his father, who happens to be a living planet (Kurt Russell). Focusing more on character development than overall MCU progression, the movie rounds out and humanizes some of its ridiculous characters, including Ravager Yondu. It’s a hilarious and emotional sci-fi adventure that doesn’t get too lost in its spectacular visual effects.
4. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
Why Netflix only has the first of the trilogy (and not even the extended edition!) is a complete mystery. Maybe there are some out there who have yet to experience the full story and need a to get their feet wet in Peter Jackson’s epic adaptation. J.R.R. Tolkien’s story through Middle Earth starts with the finding of the one Ring, a powerful weapon in the hands of pure evil that needs to be destroyed by a group of warriors, Hobbits, and a wizard. The painstaking effort and artistry that went into its production emanate from every scene, and memorable performances and action sequences do the seminal books justice.
3. Lethal Weapon (1987)
A staple action movie of the ’80s, Lethal Weapon still stands up as a buddy cop movie that’s tough not to love. Mismatched partners — one suicidal, the other overly aged for various things — must learn to work together and stop a ring of drug smugglers. Its action hijinks are as indicative of the era as its jazzy music, and the film was even nominated for an Oscar for its sound. Lethal Weapon not only brought us Mel Gibson’s hair but the work of writer Shane Black, who has continued to pen noteworthy crime movies for over three decades.
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 (2003-04)
A master assassin (Uma Thurman) is betrayed by her former associates and left for dead, only for her to awaken from her coma and vow to take uncompromising vengeance. Possible issues with director Quentin Tarantino aside, it’s impossible to say that watching his movies isn’t a distinct experience. Each piece of the Bride’s journey, while very different, fit together perfectly throughout the two films. Tarantino’s recognizable comedy, music, and slight self-indulgence come through in Kill Bill, which has just the right and an excessive amount of tongue-and-cheek and fake blood, respectively.
1. Oldboy (2003)
Oh Dae-su, a man imprisoned for 15 years, searches for answers in this Korean director Park Chan-wook’s adaptation of the Japanese manga. Part film noir, part revenge story, Oldboy tells a raw tale of a smart but confused average Joe, and the action sequences reflect that. There’s no highly choreographed martial arts, no sword-swinging spectacle. Just a lot of brutality. The sucker punch of an ending will linger with you, nearly as much as the tense hallway fight that’s synonymous with Oldboy.
President Trump is spending the holiday weekend at Mar-a-Lago. On Monday, he (through the White House) expressed that he’d be “supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system” for gun purchases before hitting the golf course. Indeed, it seems that Trump caught wind of Florida school shooting survivors’ television appearances, including a fiery speech from Emma Gonzalez and a group announcement (that aired on Fox News) for a national march (on March 24) for gun control.
The Washington Post now reports that, although Trump appeared to be busy tweet-blaming the FBI (for being too focused on Russia to prevent Nikolas Cruz from acting) over the shooting, he was also watching cable news coverage of survivor speeches. And he apparently solicited gun-control opinions from his Mar-a-Lago guests:
The president also surveyed Mar-a-Lago Club members about whether he ought to champion gun control measures in the wake of last week’s school massacre in nearby Parkland, telling them that he was closely monitoring the media appearances by some of the surviving students, according to people who spoke with him there.
True, it’s not a great look if Trump was soliciting advice from partygoers on how he should handle the problem while also declining to appear at an upcoming CNN town hall featuring teen survivors. Also, the solution won’t be as simple as soliciting opinions, for the problem finds roots in a decades-long pattern of inaction from lawmakers. Congress routinely accepts millions of dollars from the NRA, which Stoneman Douglas survivors have characterized as “blood money.” Still, Trump does appear to be opening the door to a gun control discussion, so does it really matter why it’s happening?
Yes, the “why” does matter, but results would matter even more at this point.
While the Black Panther film was clawing up the competition at the box office this past weekend, it’s Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack was climbing the musical charts like, well, a panther does a tree, finally settling up its first week as the king of the Billboard 200.
Per Billboard, the very un-traditional, groundbreaking soundtrack debuted at no. 1 with 154,000 equivalent album units earned in the week ending Feb. 15, with 52,000 in traditional album sales. That’s a strong first week for just about any album, but rarely do soundtracks hit the charts quite as hard as this. Having TDE all over it, performing alongside some of today’s biggest stars like 2 Chainz and Future and up-and-comers such as Jorja Smith and Mozzy, no doubt gave a heart-shaped herb-style boost to its numbers. As Billboard notes, hip-hop albums tend to perform well due to streaming.
Interestingly, only three songs of the fourteen on the album actually appear in the film, with the rest being “inspired by” or containing references to it. At a couple of points in the album, Kendrick says either “I am T’Challa” or “I am Killmonger,” highlighting the central conflict of the film. It is the first time in the history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that Marvel Studios commissioned multiple original songs for one of its now 18 films.
No matter what some politicians and talking heads may say, it’s time to talk about guns in America. Gun safety and management clearly isn’t an issue that has a pause button. Not as long as people keep getting shot. Regardless of your exact stance, the stone cold fact of the matter is this: Guns accelerate the speed by which violent people can carry out violent acts. As such, we need to start thinking outside the box and looking for ways to realistically manage guns in this country. We need to troubleshoot a failed and continually failing system.
Growing up on a farm, I was raised with guns as an everyday part of my life. We hunted. We killed vermin. We slaughtered animals. I have immediate family members who are legit collectors — one uncle has nearly 6,000 guns. Pretty much everyone in my family still hunts. And every single one of them has gun safes in their homes. Gun safety is a huge topic and we all believe in sensible gun control.
My personal guns are locked up in a safe in Washington state. I’m sure our neighbors have similar safes. We’re an independent people up in the Pacific Northwest; a region of the country where firearms still have some utilitarian purpose. And yet we fight for background checks and create safety measures on the state level.
You know what else we did on the state level? We legalized weed. We and Colorado were the first to do so and… it’s worked out pretty well. Which got me to thinking, maybe what this fight needs is less waiting for the Federal Government and more policies created by individual states.
Here’s how states can take the lead on this issue.
STATES CONTROL THIS CONVERSATION
A large portion of the American population wants more common sense gun laws. There’s a seemingly endless dearth of evidence supporting this. Unfortunately, we have to square that with the reality that the NRA (a private lobby group tasked with ensuring gun manufacturers make the most money they can) spends millions on assuring politicians sympathetic to their lobby make our laws. That’s just reality. The NRA gave Donald Trump $30 million for his presidential campaign. It’s on us to do what we can to circumvent that system.
That’s where the structure of our nation comes into play. Let’s look at the continued rollout of legal cannabis as a model here. Each state has the right to enact its own laws based on their constituency’s voting, within reason. That’s why some states don’t sell alcohol on Sundays or some states have legalized cannabis and others have legalized gambling. States also have the right to enact their own laws on guns and they do all the time. In fact, state laws on guns are as varied as laws on cannabis and alcohol.
Only six states and the District of Columbia have bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines and prohibit high-risk individuals from buying guns with a background check. Some want these bans and prohibitions to be nationwide, clearly. But if that’s just not tenable right now with the current political situation, looking to states isn’t a bad idea.
WHAT MORE CAN BE DONE AT THE STATE LEVEL?
Banning heavy arms, high capacity clips, and cursory background checks are a good starting point, but they don’t get the job done. It’s just not anywhere near enough. Drastic times call for policy overhauls and our policies are easier to overhaul state by state.
Let’s say Washington State voted to enact gun control more in line with, say, Germany. That would mean they’d completely overhaul the gun ownership laws in that state. Now, I’m picking Germany because (besides being my current residence) it has the fourth highest gun ownership rate in the world and gun culture is a real part of the society for semi-similar reasons to America — hunting being atop that list.
In Germany to purchase or use a gun you have to do the following:
- Be 18 years old.
- Show trustworthiness through an interview (and a full psychiatric interview if you’re under 25).
- Demonstrate personal adequacy and expert knowledge (train once a month at a shooting range for one year straight).
- Show a necessity for needing a firearm.
- Buy personal insurance for the weapon and your use of it.
- Allow a firearms expert to ensure you are storing and transporting the weapons safely.
- Have no history of drug or alcohol abuse.
- Have no history of any violence.
- Have no felony convictions.
- Have no history of mental illness.
“Necessity” applies to hunters, farmers, proveable personal safety issues, collectors (who have to be certified as experts), and sports shooters. This is a starting point that a lot of us can likely agree upon. Trained, stable gun owners are always better than untrained ones.
Now, where the rubber really hits the road is in what you can buy once you’re certified to have a gun. Sticking with Germany, a gun permit is mandatory for every gun you purchase and you’ll have to go through the year of training for different types of weapons. Translation: if you want a shotgun, you learn to use it first for a year, same with rifles and handguns, then you get one. Moreover, everyone is prohibited from buying rifles that accept a magazine with ten or more cartridges. Generally, it’s bolt action rifles, handguns, and long barrel, non-pump action shotguns (of course, there are exceptions and barrel length plays a big role). For the most part, all heavy semi-automatic, military-grade weapons are banned from public purchase. Naturally, all automatic weapons are off the table, even if you’re a certified expert.
Lastly, you can’t just buy all the ammunition you want in Germany. You’ll need another permit to purchase black powder products. You have to prove why you need the bullets and what they’re going to be used for. This is an extra layer of public protection that we seem to not even be talking about.
Overall, Germany’s gun violence is dramatically lower than every single US state. Germany’s rate of gun-related death is 1.01 per 100,000 people. Hawaii’s — our safest state when it comes to gun violence — is 2.71 per 100,000 people. To put that in perspective Alaska has a rate of 19.59 per 100,000 people and the US average is 10.64. I think it’s safe to say that well-trained gun owners are preferable to untrained ones. That shouldn’t be a controversial stance to take.
In light of those stats, states tearing down the scaffolding of existing gun control for a thorough overhaul seems downright genius.
HOW CAN A STATE IMPLEMENT THIS WITH OPEN BORDERS?
I know, I know. You’re dying to call me out on the fact that any American can drive over the border from California to Arizona and just buy whatever guns they want. You’re 100 percent correct. And that has to stop.
Maybe this is dating me, but I remember when you couldn’t cross a state border without having to stop at an agriculture checkpoint. It was a small kiosk on the interstate and highways where a state cop would check the trunk with a quick once-over to assure you weren’t bringing banned fruit or vegetables into that state. This is a crucial step to assuring gun laws work state-by-state and will likely be the most difficult to accept. I get that. But, right now, what other choice is there really?
There are benefits and drawbacks here. Until there’s a national consensus on what gun control means, states are going to have to start enacting measures to protect their citizens locally. Part of that is going to be building a statewide infrastructure that monitors, trains, licenses, and assures gun control laws are enforced correctly. And, yes, that means we’re going to have to give up some rights for this. We do that all the time by the way. Every time we walk through airport security, we’re giving up constitutional rights. Basically, we give up our fourth and fifth amendment rights every time we try to board a plane.
Don’t believe me? Just try to “take the fifth” when they ask you if you’re carrying any explosives at check-in.
On the other hand, this creates a lot more jobs around the gun industry training individuals and better-trained law enforcement. These should both be things liberals, conservatives, and gun owners can get behind. American jobs! Gun control! Better trained law enforcement! It’s all of our political hot buttons rolled into one.
Putting German-style gun laws in place somewhere like Washington would mean that gun ranges would need more employees to train up everyone who wants a permit to buy, carry, or fire a gun. Plus, think of all the extra ammo those ranges would sell if every Washingtonian had to spend a year training on their guns three times over (for handguns, rifles, and shotguns) and then keeping up those skills year after year at the range with an expert there to keep you certified. Guns would get more expensive, likely, but not so costly as to dissuade aficionados.
Add to that a more robust background check system that includes actual interviews (by medical professionals in some cases) and trained gun experts leading classes for gun safety, border police doing five-minute spot checks and interviews on incoming out-of-state cars, and you have a lot of new jobs, income, and spending power. Not to mention the revenue from issuing multiple licenses for gun owners.
Where will the money come from to build this new infrastructure, you ask? Well, states like Washington have massive, billion-dollar windfalls coming from the legalization of cannabis that could easily be used to help fund these programs. And, like with cannabis, once other states see this kind of gun management working, they’ll be chomping at the bit to enact similar laws themselves. It’ll spread when it works. And it’ll spread when the money and jobs around the industry increase.
Moreover, before 2012, it was almost inconceivable how a state could create, license, and regulate an entirely new industry (cannabis) within a year’s time. Yet Washington did it. So did Colorado and now many other states. Remember when the naysayers said, “it’s too big, too complicated, it’ll cost too much money, and require too much bureaucracy?” Now legal weed is commonplace.
We can make these big changes on a state level when we want to. Cannabis legalization proves that.
THE (CURRENT) FEDS DON’T WANT STATES TO CHOOSE
There’s been a backlash to state’s rights since the Trump administration came to power with the GOP majority Congress. Republicans, who traditionally have been major advocates for “states’ rights,” have pivoted and consolidated power in DC. For instance, Jeff Sessions — perhaps the biggest flip-flopper on states rights in modern history –has been toying with destroying the legal cannabis industry. Also, Congress has been clandestinely trying to pass an NRA-backed law that will force every state in the union to recognize concealed carry laws from any other state.
Let’s take a step back. 31 states do not even require a background check to purchase a firearm. Beyond the negligence of those state’s legislators, forcing a state with more reasonable gun management — like simple background checks — to adhere to another state’s laws is dubious (and likely unconstitutional), not to mention pretty much every major police department in the country is against the bill. This law, that will likely pass, is another reason that states need to be louder and take more definitive actions to prevent a continued ascendancy of gun violence.
The big point of all this is that states are smaller. They are therefore more nimble from a legislative branch standpoint. Why not let a state like Washington try this out as an incubator? It’ll have no immediate effect on the other 49 states. Hunters, collectors, and enthusiasts will still be able to buy, shoot, and carry guns if they qualify. The citizenry will be inherently safer, since all gun owners will be correctly trained to use their gun and there will be fewer guns overall. (The argument that a black market for guns will explode if there are more gun control laws is a lie. Less gun control means more guns on the street and in the hands of criminals because they’re that much easier to get in the first place. In fact, 74 percent of gun crimes committed in New York City (a state with strict gun laws) came from states with lax gun laws.)
This divide and conquer approach — focused on the states rather than national policy — may seem counter-intuitive, but until we figure out how to run a country with a sensible approach to guns, maybe those state border checks need to go back up. In the 80s, we were willing to sit through a check for lettuce and apples. Why not guns in 2020? We are willing to go through pat-downs and metal detectors at airports. Why not on the I-5 between Oregon and California?
Sure, the NRA is powerful, federally. But that power can be stolen from them. States — which are easier, just by the principle of scale, to legislate — can snatch that power away. One state would have to start and, if their measures were successful, others would follow suit. Nothing opens peoples’ minds like success, the state-based cannabis laws underscore that. Maybe it’s time to bring the same approach to guns.
Great travel photography transports you. Even though it’s a visual medium, you can hear the sound of water lapping on the shore or wind whipping through the trees. You feel the sun on your skin and the wet rocks beneath your feet. This is because good travel pics don’t simply capture an image of a place, they tell its story. They introduce you to people and show you places familiar to the residents, but far from the tourist hordes.
That’s what Brian Chorski’s does. He’s a San Francisco resident making a name for himself as a destination lifestyle photographer. His images draw you in and make you want to pack a bag and fly off someplace new. To explore and never stop exploring.
This week, Chorski sat down with us to share the gear he uses, the role of Instagram in his work, and how to get a fresh take on the sites that every travel photographer has already tackled. He also gave us his two top tips for great travel photography, and they are something everyone can do. Read through this interview and take in the photography. We guarantee you will walk away with the basics you need to begin taking better travel photos now.
Tell me a little about how you found yourself traveling the world and taking photos.
I have a full-time job currently. I do a lot of this photography in my free time on weekends, weeknights, and during time off. That’s about the only time I get to do it, which actually ends up being quite a bit of time. I was brought into photography via a study abroad trip I took to France for five months back when I was in my undergrad, and I was living in Minnesota at the time.
I had never really seen much outside of Minnesota, and I was really kind of scared to be going on this five-month travel-slash-learning bender in a different country because I hadn’t left the US before. All I had was my iPhone, and I was snapping pics from North Africa to all parts of Western Europe. When I got back, I was like, “Damn. I should really have a camera on me at all times when traveling.” So, I picked up a camera. I did a lot of domestic travel, did a lot of road trips leading up to my move out to San Francisco, where I now work in the marketing space.
Now, when you’re traveling, are you bringing all of your gear with you?
It really depends what kind of traveling I’m doing. I would say I try to be as present as possible when traveling, and sometimes that means not having my camera on me at all times. This last weekend, I was just up in the Lake Tahoe area skiing with some buddies, and I maybe brought out my camera for a half hour over sunset on Saturday night. That was about it. The rest of the time was spent skiing and whatnot. When I’m on these dedicated missions with other photographers and we go out and get these really beautiful shots and try to tell that story, that’s when I’ve got my camera on me a little more.
I’d say my trip to Thailand explains that. It’s just a whole lot of running around with strangers and people you meet on the road. It’s hard not to want to capture all of that. There’s a little bit more routine trips, kind of like just hanging out with friends. And then there’s more of these adventures, Thailand for example, where you’re going out and you may not be there again. You really want to just take it all in and capture as much as possible.
Yeah. I bring all my gear, which is actually quite minimal on more lengthy trips and such.
On these longer trips like Thailand, how much gear are you bringing, what kind of camera, what’s going with you?
Yeah. I have a pretty simple setup compared to most adventure travel photographers. I have a Canon 60 full frame body. And then alongside that, I have a wide-angle lens, and I have a sort of simple portrait lens. It’s a 50 millimeter. And then, I have a sort of zoom lens to get those more compressed shots from afar. I think that’s like a 75 to the 300-millimeter lens. I don’t think I even brought a tripod on my Thailand trip, really. I love doing night sky stuff every once in a while, but to save some space and weight when flying and stuff, I usually use rocks or my jacket or my backpack as an ad hoc tripod from time to time.
Awesome. So it’s totally possible to do that without having every camera accessory known to man.
Absolutely. It’s more about being what you see and making the best out of what you have, really, rather than having every possible ounce of gear on you. I know it all makes a better photograph technically speaking in the end, but I think just having the bare minimum can oftentimes produce some of your best work.
Nice. So, one of the aspects of going to a new place is usually there are going to be monuments or sites that have been photographed by a million people before. How do you keep that fresh?
Yeah. That’s one of my biggest struggles as a photographer. While I love seeing some of these amazing images of the same place over and over again, I have a really hard time going and actually visiting them and enjoying myself there. That’s the greatest question of modern day photography with Instagram and all of that so readily available.
I deal with it by trying to take as many unique angles and moments as possible. I’m really trying to transition more into lifestyle photography and capturing somebody leaning over an edge smiling and laughing to their friends in these amazing scenes is a lot more compelling and rich when it comes to storytelling than just a simple landscape with this person standing posed from afar. I think there’s more to capturing these beautiful scenes and these aspirational shots than just setting up a posed shot if you will.
So that’s kind of how I do that, and then I really don’t even find myself in those situations as much anymore as I did, a year ago. For example, I hate to refer to Thailand all the time, but while I was there I don’t think I visited a single destination, really. We talked with locals and people that were managing hostels and got really cool recommendations from them. We ended up at these just insanely epic spots; I haven’t seen a single image of these places on social media before. It was incredibly refreshing.
I think for that reason, it was one of my favorite trips of all time because it was so not researched, not planned, not, “We have to be here at 6:00 pm in time for sunrise and get all these amazing shots.” It was just riding our scooters around and going with the flow. So, I’m sort of moving more towards that stuff where you’re ending up in these beautiful scenes, and you didn’t necessarily plan to be there.
I would say that’s my long answer for that really juicy question.
You’re still telling the story of the location. You’re just telling a completely different one than you’ve seen told before.
Yeah. That’s kind of how I would like to describe that. As an artist, you’re really trying to do something different every time, and I’ve been moving more toward capturing moments in people’s lives and their energy in that moment. Putting together more photo sets rather than single images is something I’m working toward, and that’s been a big help in that.
I’m going to reference the Thailand story now. I know you guys made friends with people that you didn’t know beforehand, and you’re talking about how you incorporate people into these frames. How do you really tell a story and involve these people? Are you just randomly going up to people? Are you candidly photographing them?
Yeah. I can see where you’re getting that question from. The people that I was fortunate to meet on this recent trip were partially through Instagram. I had one buddy that I just randomly met up with once in Death Valley who was in Thailand at the time, and I was like, “Hey man. I’m going to be out here.” We ended up meeting up and hanging out pretty much the entire two weeks I was there.
That also happened with another friend I had been direct messaging with on Instagram in the past. I met up with him in the southern part of Thailand like a week later. They had already been hanging out with people at hostels and that group just filtered into our group. We ended up having like a group of eight running wild in Thailand for two weeks on scooters and boats and stuff like that. It was really quite lucky, but I also sort of attribute it to social media.
That’s really a good resource for photographers, isn’t it?
It’s really becoming an amazing resource for meeting up with other people. Not only fellow travelers but fellow creatives that are doing kind of the same thing you are. At one point, I think we had three pretty killer photographers in our group in addition to my buddy and myself. It was really awesome to be with a group of people that were down to get up at 5:30 for sunrise four days straight and just cruise around and have a few others with us that were willing to bear through the early mornings. That was just a really cool thing to be a part of.
It’s always nice to feel like you’re part of a community, especially a community that has shared values.
Yeah, and that’s the biggest part of the joy that photography has brought me: being able to connect with people that you would’ve never been able to do. Because of a simple app, you’re able to share these moments, these images of people. Ultimately at some point, you get together and do this together. It’s really, really fun.
What about, like not people that are your peers, but people who actually live in the location. How do you capture them to make them part of the story of a place?
That’s a good question. I don’t often take photos of people that I don’t personally know or am traveling with. So, that’s something I’d really want to work towards being better at. I think I’ve photographed some random people in San Francisco before on the street. And some people walking markets in Thailand as I was capturing local scenes, but not necessarily making that a point to take photos of strangers. That could be a really cool outlet. I think I could do a much better job of is just not having subjects to photograph all the time with you but be able to make the most out of just natural scenes.
When you go to a place, do you have a plan before you start photographing?
Generally, I do not when I go to a destination or a location. I think I have approached it that way before and it’s sort of been like a forced creativity that I want to get x, y, and z shots. I do very little planning before I get to locations. I’ll bring a skateboard or some fun stuff to do like a Frisbee if I’m at a beach, but I try to stay away from setting stuff up too much. Creating these posed images is oftentimes a result of when I tend to think the way of planning stuff out too much.
You said you’re moving more into lifestyle photography. Would you say that when you’re traveling, do you think you’re telling the story of the location, or do you think you’re telling the story of the travelers?
I think more so the latter with the support of locations and what those locations did to us or how they affected us. It’s almost always positively. I think it’s more about the people and your journey. The plus is attributing what these locations did to you, like how they made you feel. It’s about your emotions from being there and how the place contributed to that.
What makes you stop and want to photograph something when you’re traveling? What calls to you?
It’s the idea that I may never see a certain place again that makes me want to document it in that way. It’s a sort of unsettling feeling to me to know that I’m in an insanely epic and beautiful place, and I may never touch foot there again. And that’s one of the reasons I love to have my camera on me at most times as I can.
If someone’s reading this article and they’re like, “Okay. I want to tell this story of a place.” What are one or two tips that you would give them? What’s your advice as a wise, old travel photographer?
A wise, old 23-year-old photographer.
God damn it, Brian, if you can’t use the wisdom of your years, what good are you?
I’m embracing my youth now that you mentioned that. So, I would say a couple tips, at least from me, is to be able to tell the best stories as possible.
I would say keep the planning to a very minimum. Have a good idea of where you want to end up and who you want to be with, but from there let your creativity, your fun playful side show. Minimal planning would be one tip. I realize how misleading that can be, but I think there’s a certain value to be had in not having everything so architected.
And I would say secondly, it’s about the people you’re with. I think the reason I’ve gotten such enjoyment out of being places is because of people I’ve shared it with. I don’t think I’d have as much fun if I were just by myself in these places. It’s really a huge deal to have a great crew that you can share moments with, capture their emotions, and just be as present as possible and snap a few photos in the process. To sum that up, I think it’s minimal planning and people..
Awesome. I love that.
Leave room for the fun and don’t focus too hard on getting the shot. I think that’s one thing a lot of photographers these days could take to heart. Obviously, that’s very subjective and there are certain photographers that may not agree with that. But, I think when it comes to my approach in my craft, I think those are the two things I embody the most currently.
Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez on politicians who take money from the NRA: “If they accept this blood money, they are against the children… you’re either funding the killers, or you’re standing with the children…” https://t.co/UPVFELwTyP pic.twitter.com/zt8s7TQpLJ
— CNN (@CNN) February 19, 2018
Over the weekend, teens who survived the Florida school shooting called out the grown-ups for failing to prevent a massacre that killed 17 people. They began with a fiery speech from Emma Gonzalez and continued with David Hogg and others announcing a national march (on March 24) to “shame” politicians who accept substantial donations from the NRA. On Monday morning, Gonzalez and Hogg continued to pressure congresspeople by appearing on CNN, where Gonzalez directly labeled these campaign contributions as “blood money”:
“We keep telling them that if they accept this blood money, they are against the children … You’re either funding the killers, or you’re standing with the children. The children who have no money. We don’t have jobs, so we can’t pay for your campaign. We would hope that you have the decent morality to support us at this point.”
One sobering fact to mention here — these teens weren’t even alive in 1999 when the Columbine massacre occurred. That’s how long these school mass shootings have been occurring without congressional action, and to that end, a national school walkout has been scheduled for April 20, which is the 19th anniversary of Columbine. And in the below clip, Gonzalez and Hogg advised the NRA to “disband, dismantle, and don’t make another organization.”
— CNN (@CNN) February 19, 2018
On Monday, the White House announced that President Trump is “supportive of efforts to improve the federal background check system,” but Congress still must draft legislation to that effect, and they haven’t demonstrated any actual intent to do so while simply offering “thoughts and prayers.” The congressional track record of inaction can’t be denied, and in the below clip, Hogg asked politicians why they run for office if they “can’t get elected without taking money from child murderers.” The (incredibly perceptive) teenager has a point.
Florida high school shooting survivor David Hogg to politicians who take money from the NRA: “If you can’t get elected without taking money from child murderers, why are you running?” https://t.co/UPVFELwTyP pic.twitter.com/i0zTj0JA2y
— CNN (@CNN) February 19, 2018
Last Updated: February 19th
Horror movies have evolved throughout the years (and we ranked the best of the ’80s and the ’90s here), but sometimes you just want to binge whichever good scary movies on Netflix has to watch on a dark, stormy night. From ghosts to vampires, zombies, and Babadooks, just about every morbid fantasy that your demented mind can conjure has representation in the scariest films available to stream. Forget Googling all the horror film choices in the overcrowded menu — we’ve already watched the best horror movies on Netflix right now, and here they are ranked from beastly to blood-curdling. Now, sit back, heat up some pizza, and ignore the ghoul standing ominously at the end of your driveway.
20) Hush (2016)
Mike Flanagan, who directed Oculus and Ouija: Origin of Evil, expertly directs this simple tale of a deaf woman being menaced by a masked (and later unmasked) killer in her remote home. This is nothing you haven’t seen before, but Flanagan brings real panache and visual energy to a film that could have easily felt redundant in the hands of a lesser filmmaker.
19) V/H/S/2 (2013) and V/H/S/ Viral (2014)
Found footage horror movies can be hit-or-miss, but when it works it really works. The V/H/S anthology films pack several short films into each feature, drawing on a talent pool that includes everyone from Adam Wingard (You’re Next, The Guest) and Jason Eisener (Hobo With a Shotgun). Not all the entries are great, but the weak entries don’t last very long and the strong ones are tough to forget. The 2012 original was unfortunately removed from Netflix, but the sequels still pack a punch.
18) 30 Days Of Night (2007)
An Alaskan town, stuck in its annual month of complete darkness, is overrun with terrifying vampires, and it falls to the town’s sheriff (Josh Hartnett) and his estrange wife (Melissa George) to protect the survivors of the bloody rampage. It’s a fairly by-the-numbers yet entertaining vampiric gorefest, powered by serene, haunting images of the location. The most interesting turn is the human colluder played by Ben Foster who infiltrates and prepares the unsuspecting town for its oncoming onslaught in the first act.
17) Train To Busan (2016)
Zombie movies have been done to death, brought back to life, and repeated a few more times. But that doesn’t mean there still aren’t entertaining stories to be found in the genre. Train To Busan doesn’t bring anything exceptionally original to the walking undead, but it’s no less of a thrilling ride. An overworked dad is riding the rails with his neglected daughter when a Z-word outbreak strikes, causing savagery from corpse and living alike. Its fast-moving, contorted foes are genuinely freaky in the movie’s cramped setting, making the story feel like a zombified Snowpiercer. It’s a fun action flick with a slightly heavy-handed but solid emotional core that’s unsurprisingly getting an English remake.
16) The Hallow (2015)
Corin Hardy made his feature directorial debut with this tale of a young married couple who move into a charming rural home in Ireland — only to be stalked by a race of vicious forest-dwelling creatures who have designs on their infant son.The Hallow is a gloomy tale punctuated by a series of brutally effective sequences of horror in the final 45 minutes, but there’s real feeling beneath the frights, making it clear why Hardy was chosen to direct Relativity’s continually delayed reboot of The Crow.
15) Honeymoon (2014)
Leigh Janiak (hired to co-write and direct a remake of The Craft) made her directorial debut with this low-budget film about a recently-married couple (Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway) honeymooning in the woods who begin to unravel when the wife begins exhibiting increasingly-bizarre behavior. Leslie and Treadaway have great on-screen chemistry, and the central theme — “do you really know the person you’re sleeping next to?” — is smartly explored all the way up to the film’s haunting conclusion.
14) The Bar (2017)
A varied group of people is stuck in a bar after a man is gunned down outside. As the paranoia spreads and they turn on one another, they discover a mysterious sickness could be the culprit. It’s a bottle-type plot that has been done before — locking a bunch of frenzied folks in a cage and let instincts take their course — but this Spanish thriller injects its own dark comedy and keeps the answers to a minimum, making an entertaining story that unfortunately favors the “dark” over the “comedy” in its final act.
13) Creep (2014)
One of the better found-footage movies to come down the pike in Paranormal Activity‘s wake is this creepy gem about a videographer (director Patrick Brice) who answers a strange Craigslist ad from a man (Mark Duplass) who requests to be followed around with a camera for 24 hours. There are a few points late in the narrative where suspension of disbelief becomes an issue (a not-atypical problem for the genre), but if you can look past that, you’ll be treated to a very scary turn by Duplass and a supremely-unnerving epilogue.
12) Creep 2 (2017)
(Spoilers for Creep🙂 What could have very well been a stand-alone character exploration in 2014’s Creep is heightened in Creep 2, which sees Mark Duplass’ chameleon-like killer seeking a different kind of self-portrait. Burned out on his string of murders, Aaron reaches out to a woman who’s looking for her own kind of story by meeting and filming the lonely people she meets online. Instead of a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing path the killer normally follows, he tells the woman what he is off-the-bat and what he wants: An ending to his journey. With all his cards (seemingly) on the table — and her hiding some of her own — it’s an even more fascinating tale than the original.
11) Troll Hunter (2010)
Norwegian director Andre Ovredal’s 2010 horror-fantasy merges scrappy found-footage cinematography with truly astounding visual effects in this story about a group of university students who discover a race of giant, man-eating trolls while making a documentary about a suspected bear poacher. Think Blair Witch meets Jurassic Park, shot through with a liberal dose of sharp satire as the young city-dwellers come up against a rural world that’s far more alien than they ever could have imagined.
10) Starry Eyes (2014)
Word-of-mouth has been building on Starry Eyes since it was released three years ago, and it’s not just talk. Alex Essoe is excellent as the struggling Hollywood starlet who hides an increasingly disturbed lust for recognition beneath her girl-next-door exterior, and in the third act writer-directors Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch deliver several queasy moments of body horror that will satiate the bloodlust of slightly-more-discerning gorehounds.
9) The Invitation (2016)
After back-to-back big studio bombs, Karyn Kusama returned to her scrappy indie roots with this contained, brilliantly suspenseful study of the darkness that can arise when people don’t allow themselves to feel. The Invitation isn’t a perfect film, but Kusama does a lot with the scant resources she had to play with here, and you have to appreciate her willingness to tackle grief so directly in a genre that tends to have little time for genuine human emotion.
12) The Sixth Sense (1999)
Hijinks-y teen movies and all, 1999 was an impressive year for movies. Magnolia, Fight Club, The Green Mile, Being John Malkovich, The Matrix… The list goes on and on. Among those entries is M. Night Shyamalan’s first big release, and one of his best (behind Unbreakable, of course). This was a simpler time, before seeing his name in trailers garnered skepticism. Centered on a boy who can’t separate the dead from the living and his child psychologist with issues of his own, The Sixth Sense remains one of four horror movies to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. It’s endlessly tense, driven by strong performances from the two leads over jump scares. It’s held up well, even if it’s established a tough hurdle for the director’s future efforts to clear.
7) Gerald’s Game (2017)
Stephen King’s 1992 novel transpires mostly in one isolated lake house’s bedroom where its protagonist, Jessie, lies bound to a bed after her husband dies in the midst of a sex game. That makes it a tough story to film, which may explain why it took 25 years to get turned into a movie. But the wait was worth it: director Mike Flanagan delivers a resourceful, disturbing adaptation anchored by a great Carla Gugino performance (with some fine supporting work from Bruce Greenwood). Forced to find a way out of her situation, while confronting her own past, Gugino’s Jessie is made to go to extremes, which leads to, among other things, one of the squirmiest scenes in recent memory.
6) The Wailing (2016)
Is there ever a time where a mysterious stranger shows up in a small town, and everyone is better off from it? Well, The Wailing is no exception to the familiar inciting incident, as it focuses on a village in South Korea that sees the spread of a terrifying illness once a shady character moves into its surrounding forest. As people start dying, a police officer starts investigating and is sucked into a brutal puzzle. While it’s about 30 minutes too long and the tone isn’t always consistent, The Wailing keeps its audience guessing as much as its protagonist. Its unique religious realism turns this dream-like story into a memorable nightmare.
5) Jaws (1975)
Interestingly, the first modern summer blockbuster isn’t a high-flying action movie or science-fiction epic but a relatively small-scale horror movie about a resort town menaced by an enormous Great White shark. Spielberg’s 1975 classic is both pure popcorn and one of the most frightening movies of all time, not least for the armrest-clutching opening scene that remains one of the most effective moments of pure, primal terror in cinema history.
4) It Follows (2014)
Sometimes the best horror movies have the simplest of concepts: A nearly unkillable thing is on its way to kill you. It worked for The Terminator, Halloween, and so many others, but It Follows takes a novel approach to the concept. The story centers on a girl who catches a sexually transmitted monster (STM) that’s only goal is to slowly follow its current victim until it can brutally execute them. No one who hasn’t been the monster’s prey can see it, it can take any human form it wants, and the only way to escape it is to pass it along to another sexual partner. The eerie cinematography and retro score push this thriller into terrifying territory to the point where you might not trust anyone walking toward you for a few days after watching it.
3) The Nightmare (2015)
One of the scariest movies on this list also happens to be a documentary, albeit one that aims to frighten audiences in the way of a typical narrative horror film. Director Rodney Ascher’s (Room 237) rumination on the terrifying phenomenon known as sleep paralysis plays like a more artful and particularly unnerving episode of Unsolved Mysteries, but what makes it even scarier is that everything described by the film’s subjects happened in their in their own tortured minds.
2) Hellraiser (1987)
Barker’s directorial debut captures the nightmarish qualities of his literary efforts. Based on The Hellbound Heart (a novella so unsettling no film could do it justice), Hellraiser mixes disturbing imagery with sexual undertones, in the process introducing Pinhead and a panoply of sadistic, multidimensional beings who would return for several sequels.
1) The Babadook (2014)
Starring Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mystery) and directed by Jennifer Kent, The Babadook is a bracing psychological horror film grounded in the terrors and frustration of parenthood. Davis plays a mother who lost her husband in a car accident on their way to the delivery room. She loves and resents her troubled 6-year-old son, feelings that seem to take supernatural form when a creepy pop-up book, Mister Babadook, mysteriously shows up on his shelf. Kent’s stylish film makes excellent uses of its creepy interiors. but it’s Davis’ committed performance that drives the horror home.
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