Karen ( Taryn Manning ) lives in a nice neighborhood, where she loves to be in control. When the new neighbors Malik ( Cory Hardrict ) and his wife Imani ( Jasmine Burke ) move in to the house next door, Karen is not happy. They are clearly black, and can not be trusted. So Karen decides to make sure that they will not do anything wrong on this street, and she will be watching them, every day. Malik and Imani will soon find out, that this is the worst kind of neighbor you could ever wish for.
I have to make something clear. If you thought you should take this film seriously, then you should forget about that, and go into this film with a completely different mind set. Karen is one of those films i would catgorize " A Bad Film, Fun To Watch, For The Wrong Reason ". There is no way that you can take this film seriously, and especially after you have seen the whole film. This is one of those thrillers who tries to be too serious, and fails to do so. There is no psychological tension here at all, so it almost becomes as a satire instead, that is meant to be taken seriously. If they really thought that this would be a thriller that would work thanks to a Karen character, they probably should have worked harder on the plot, and the character as well. What does make this film fun to watch, even though it is not supposed to be fun? That is the character Karen, played by actress Taryn Manning ( who you might have seen in the 2005 film Hustle & Flow ). This is not the best acting performance of the year, but i got to give it to Taryn Manning, she must have had fun playing this character. She may not be able to make this Karen as horrible as the real Karens out there across America, but at least you can enjoy her performance from a comedy perspective. The racist undertone in this film is very clear, and you can cleary see that Karen is a pure racist, all the way through. Some of the dialogue she throws out there are just hilariously bad, and remember, this is not supposed to be a funny film, but a thriller. One of the actors who do give some kind of serious acting performance, is actor Cory Hardrict ( who you can see in the Clint Eastwood film American Sniper ) as the character Malik. At least he gives a performance that matches with his character. Karen may be one of the most odd films of this year, and i have a feeling that we won´t see anything like this film, this year. It is a very strange mix of a thriller, with a racist undertone, that you can´t take serious. Director Coke Daniels probably wanted to make a thriller that would bring up the subject of racist people, and i don´t have a problem with that, since we need to adress that racism is not ok. But when you can´t take a film seriously, when it actually have a racist character as the lead character, they clearly missed the whole point with this film. So, for me, this is more of a satire instead, that proves that you can make films that will make you laugh, that´s not even supposed to be funny. Karen is definetely one of the strangest films i have seen in a long time, and maybe that´s why i had fun watching it, because i can´t take anything serious with this film. It´s just so bad, that it becomes entertaining to watch. I don´t know about you, but i definetely don´t want a Karen on my street, who knows what she put in her fruit cake?