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That trailer for “KAREN” only looks like a spoof

Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | News

By MICHAEL GINGOLD

Social media is blowing up over the preview for the upcoming horror-thriller.

The trailer for writer/director Coke Daniels’ KAREN (see it below) first hit YouTube on Friday, and since then it has drawn ire and ridicule all over Twitter and other platforms. Some attacked it as a knockoff of Jordan Peele’s GET OUT, others compared it to a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE or DEAR WHITE PEOPLE sketch, though according to a Deadline article, the intent was to make a serious genre piece about current issues.

“Last year during the global pandemic and civil unrest, I–like many of us–felt anger, despair and hopelessness,” Daniels told the site. “The overwhelming amount of support from people around the globe, who want to see change, has been such an inspiration.”

“I felt a social responsibility to take on this role,” said Taryn Manning, who plays the villainous title role. “Even if I had to play the villain to affect change around the globe, then I was more than willing to step into the role. What’s been going on is devastating. It’s time for change and for me to be a part of the bigger picture, meant a lot to me.”

As Deadline describes, KAREN, which also stars Cory Hardrict, Jasmine Burke, Roger Dorman and Gregory Alan Williams and is set to premiere later this year on BET, is “about Karen Drexler [Manning], a racist white woman who makes it her personal mission to displace the new Black family that has just moved in next door to her. Community activist Malik [Hardrict] and his wife Imani [Burke] are the couple who have just moved to the Atlanta suburb, but they won’t be backing down without a fight.” Scenes in the trailer specifically reference real-life cases like the Central Park dog-walker incident, but it seems like a little less than a meaningful examination of the issues…

Michael Gingold
Michael Gingold (RUE MORGUE's Head Writer) has been covering the world of horror cinema for over three decades, and spent 28 years as a writer and editor for FANGORIA magazine and its website. In addition to RUE MORGUE, he currently writes for BIRTH.MOVIES.DEATH, SCREAM, IndieWire.com, TIME OUT, DELIRIUM and others. His book THE FRIGHTFEST GUIDE TO MONSTER MOVIES (FAB Press) is out this fall, and he has contributed liner notes and featurettes to a number of Blu-ray and DVD releases. Among his screenplay credits are SHADOW: DEAD RIOT and LEECHES!, and he is currently working on THE DOLL with director Dante Tomaselli.