Do we really need a Karen horror movie when real-life Karens are already so scary?
Ever since “Karen” became the go-to pejorative used to refer to entitled white women, there’s been no shortage of stories of them in the headlines. There are plenty of Karens who ignored mask mandates and did nothing to stop themselves from spreading a potentially deadly virus during the pandemic. There’s “SoHo Karen,” who was caught on video attacking a Black teen who she claims stole her phone, even though he was nowhere near her when she lost it. Maybe the worst Karens of all are the ones who know the power they yield when they call the police to report made-up crimes by Black people they see simply existing in the world. They know that call can turn deadly for BIPOC people in America, and they use that as a tool toward their own racist ends.
I’m sorry — is that not scary enough? Do we really need a horror movie about Karens when this is how they behave in real life? Apparently, because it’s being made. And hoo boy, is this trailer just a lot to take in. Buckle up before you hit play on this one.
Karen is directed by Coke Daniels and stars Orange Is the New Black‘s Taryn Manning as Karen White, an entitled white woman terrorizing her new Black neighbors, first with microaggressions, and eventually with full-on racist attacks with the help of her evil cop brother.
And yes, in case you couldn’t tell from the villain’s name, this movie appears to handle a complex, real-world issue with all the subtlety and nuance of a nuclear bomb. For example, just in case you didn’t pick up on the fact that Karen is a racist, here’s the Confederate flag soap dispenser she apparently has in her bathroom.
Karen looks like a Lifetime movie, but one of the ones so bad it’s not actually good, and you switch to the Hallmark channel when its reruns come on. It honestly looks fake, but by all accounts, seems to be a real movie made by people who are somehow taking themselves seriously while they do this.
Maybe the most offensive thing about all this is that there are people already comparing Karen to Jordan Peele’s masterpiece Get Out, which was a powerful and nuanced take on racism and oppression — as well as more complex parts of the issue, like performative activism and white appropriation of Black culture. In other words, the complete opposite of this ham-handed mess.
Karen is set to hit theaters in September, if that’s really something you want to know. If the public response to the trailer is any indication, you can probably just wait a few weeks past its release date and catch it on a streaming platform, instead.
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