A new movie trailer dropped recently, and it’s getting a lot of buzz online. Unfortunately, it’s not the good kind.
When the trailer for Karen, an upcoming thriller starring Orange Is the New Black star Taryn Manning as a hostile white woman named Karen who harasses her new Black neighbors, first came out, a lot of viewers were confused.
Not only does the film bear a strong resemblance to the 2017 Oscar-winner Get Out, written and directed by Jordan Peele, but it also seems to be copying the film in an almost parody-level way.
A horror movie titled Karen is enough to evoke thoughts of a Saturday Night Live parody skit, but the film doesn’t stop there. Instead, it forgoes all the nuance and cultural commentary that Get Out had and just goes for straight scares based on racism instead.
A lot of the dialogue in the movie comes across as very "racism 101." "Tell me about your new neighbors," Karen’s friend asks at one point in the preview. “They’re Black,” is her response. The rest of the movie is equally on the nose.
"We are living next door to...a racist," Imani (Jasmine Burke) dramatically says at another point, as if that’s not what every person of color living next door to white people says every day. The whole movie comes across as, well, a little pre-Get Out.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we love Taryn Manning, and we hope she’s having a wonderful engagement to new fiance Anne Cline, but this movie is not where it’s at. When real-life racism is so much more insidious and violent than what’s depicted in a horror movie, you know you’re missing the mark.
One of the things that made Get Out work so well was that Peele layered the film with nuance and relevant dialogue. Watching it felt like watching a movie from the future, talking about things that Hollywood is usually afraid to confront. Unfortunately, watching the trailer for Karen feels like going back to 2015. No release date for the movie has been announced.