The last two decades have been the golden age of television content. Between the rise of prestige TV in the aughts and the streaming wars of the 20-teens, viewers have become accustomed to a level of quality programming that was once unimaginable. So when an old-school bad-looking TV movie comes along, it’s a bit of a shock, as if viewers have forgotten just how schlocky the medium once was. But the newest pulled-from-the-headlines movie-of-the-week to follow this tradition, Karen, is something else. If the Karen movie trailer is anything to go by, Twitter will have a field day when the film hits the airwaves.
As part of the rise of prestige TV, there’s been a renewed interest in the horror genre. Spearheaded by FX’s American Horror Story, these TV series and films have been rising as part of a renewed interest in genre shows. That includes a new take on horror embodied by Jordan Peele’s Academy Award-winning film Get Out, which reframes the Black American experience through the horror lens. Since then, there have been critically acclaimed series like HBO’s Lovecraft Country, lauded films like Us, and controversial series like Them.
And then there’s Karen.
The new film, which is a BET Original from director Coke Daniels, is clearly modeled on the same “benign horror of racism” that has driven other titles to such acclaim. But such stories require nuance and finesse; their point is that they hit so close to reality as to make the viewers squirm.
This trailer has all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.
Of course, this doesn’t mean the film itself will be nearly so lurid. But when it comes to Twitter, you only get one chance to make a first impression before users collectively make up their mind. And boy, are they made up.
Unsurprisingly, Peele’s name surfaced quickly, much to Twitter’s distaste. Comparing this trailer to Get Out in a positive sense was immediately declared Not OK.
As for the director who did make this movie, well, his resume speaks for itself.
But not everyone was a hater.
The Karen trailer does not include a release date for the movie. But when it does arrive, it seems quite possible that Twitter will be there, hate-watching in droves.