From Awful Movies Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!

This article may reveal spoilers, especially considering the film had either been released recently or not in specific countries yet.‎

You'll want to speak to the manager for a refund after watching this.
Genre: Thriller
Directed By: Coke Daniels
Produced By: Mary Aloe
Autumn Bailey
Craig Chapman
Sevier Crespo
Coke Daniels
Cory Hardrict
Gillian Hormel
Taryn Manning
Tirrell D. Whittley
Written By: Coke Daniels
Based On: Karen (stereotype)
Starring: Taryn Manning
Cory Hardrict
Jasmine Burke
Roger Dorman
Cinematography: Anthony J. Rickert-Epstein
Distributed By: Black Entertainment (BET)
Eagle Entertainment (Australia)
Release Date: September 3, 2021 (US)
July 13, 2022 (Australia)
Runtime: 89 minutes
Country: United States

Karen is a 2021 American dark comedy thriller film written and directed by Coke Daniels and starring Taryn Manning, based on the stereotype (or meme) of the same name.


A racist woman takes it as a personal mission to displace the new Black family that just moved into the neighborhood, but they won't back down without a fight.

Why It Makes People Want To Speak To The Manager

  1. Like with The Emoji Movie, the sole concept of a movie based on memes about infamous pejorative term for a white woman perceived as entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is normal, is already a bad idea on paper. Not helping is that the execution for such idea in this case is horrible, and it feels almost nothing like what you see in the Karen videos on the internet.
  2. It appears that not even Coke Daniels understands the source material that well, being the stereotypical Karen videos on the internet, which usually depicts an entitled woman with blonde hair and her trademark haircut, and that she says "I would like to speak to the manager", both of which, aren't present here, the latter of which having something along the lines of that sentence so botched in execution that not including the line at all would make zero difference in the final product.
  3. The movie's concept is also very similar to the problem with the 2021 TV show, Chad, for how both ideas revolve around an infamous name slang. And like with Chad, the concept falls flat from the very start as both ideas try to use the slang to try to be edgy to the present day, when in reality it will wind up being dated after some time.
  4. Terribly written and awkward dialogue; no one talks the way people do in the movie, and many of the lines sound too much like exposition.
  5. It tries desperately to pander to racial politics many times throughout the movie, and pushes these agendas so much it feels more like a PSA than an actual movie.
    • They even forget certain plot points just to push said agendas, like what happens to Karen's kids after she dies for example.
    • In fact, they even had the guts to throw in a feminist preach in there with very minimal context.
  6. The movie is unsubtle about its message to the point of being condescending.
  7. There are several instances where the characters are stating the obvious, giving Coke Daniels the impression that the audience watching this movie must be idiots.
  8. All of the subplots present in this movie make no sense, and are completely forgotten about very quickly.
  9. The acting is horrendous, especially from Taryn Manning, but this could be due to the material she was given.
  10. False advertising: It markets itself as a "horror" movie, but there's barely any horror aspects in it, if even anything at all. It just feels more like a thriller.
  11. It takes itself so seriously that the movie ends up being laughable for all the wrong reasons, including, but not limited to, its dialogue choices, and the acting for the most part.
    • Also they play what seems to be a jumpscare sound when Karen throws a pie into the bin for some reason, making it the most laughable scene in the entire movie.
  12. The pacing is very inconsistent, as a lot of the runtime is just spent by having two or more characters talk to each other.
  13. The editing is really bad, especially the news report scene where you can notice the greenscreen behind the news reporter.
  14. It is beyond predictable to the point where you can plot out everything that happens by the time the movie ends. Better yet, you could even predict the whole thing successfully just by watching the trailer.
  15. You're not able to buy any of the relationships between characters because their chemistry is all over the place.
  16. Karen and Officer Wind are so underdeveloped that they are just unlikable for the sake of being unlikable, and nothing else. Also, Malik and Imani are pretty bland protagonists for the most part, and sometimes, unlikable towards each other.
  17. Plot Hole: After Karen dies, they never explain what happens to Karen's kids afterwards.
  18. The movie is so inconsistent, that in the credits, there is literally animations of silhouettes dancing for no reason, making viewers believe that the creators were on drugs, and that Coke Daniels had truly lived up to his name in a bad way.
  19. During the second half of the credits, songs play for only 10 seconds at a time before switching to another song, making it look as if the creators did not know how to play whole songs in the credits before changing the music.
    • In addition, some of these songs were never heard in the actual movie, like the "Karen theme song" that is heard in the beginning of the second half of the credits. In fact, they don't even appear in the NFT soundtrack.
  20. Even the characters themselves admit that this movie actually feels more like an SNL skit in one scene.
  21. While this has nothing to do with the quality of the movie, BET decided to jump onto the NFT bandwagon and released the official soundtrack for the movie as an NFT, which may end up being very bad for the environment due to the insane amount of electricity that goes into making at least one copy of it, let alone a couple thousand, leaving a large carbon footprint. This is also a terrible business practice since this is the only way you can get access to the soundtrack at all as of now. What's worse is that the latter option, which as well as the soundtrack, includes all the special featurettes, 9 pieces of digital art, and 3 music videos, may leave an even bigger carbon footprint just the album by itself.
  22. The title is somewhat misleading, as mentioned before, it feels like an adaptation of the Karen videos in nearly name only.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The big fight between Karen and Imani during the climax was entertaining, and ultimately, saved this movie from an even worse fate.
  2. A satisfying ending, where Karen is shot dead by Imani out of self defense. Also, the people of color also finally get the respect they deserve at the end, making the whole thing worth it, and therefore, is the only thing that can save this movie.
  3. Despite the mostly poor execution, Coke Daniels had some good intentions, about how racial equality is important for our society, and how segregation shouldn't ever exist.
    • In fact, the best execution for such a message is in the ending, where one of the characters make a speech about how now all human lives can't matter until black lives matter too.
  4. There are a good chunk of likable characters in the movie, like Malik and Imani (to an extent), and Karen's daughter,
  5. At least not all white people in this movie are dehumanized (except Karen and Officer Wind, who had it coming), unlike the trailer, where it looked like it was being depicted that way.
  6. Despite the horrible dialogue, there are some really good one liners, such as the line "I told you, I'm not going anywhere, bitch." said by Imani when she kills Karen.
  7. Some may consider it to be so bad it's good.


The film was met with major backlash on the internet based on the idea alone, and for all of its other issues. Upon release, it was panned by critics and audiences alike. The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes surveyed 14 critics and, categorizing the reviews as positive or negative, assessed 2 as positive and 12 as negative for a 15% rating. Among the reviews, it determined an average rating of 3.20 out of 10. On IMDb, it has a rating of 2.7/10. It has a 1.2/5 on Letterboxd.



  • This is the fourth movie made to be based off a meme, after Smiley (2012), Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2014) and Slender Man (2018).
  • This is the third movie to be based off a popular internet trend, after The Emoji Movie (2017) and Slender Man (2018).
  • This is the only movie so far to have its tie-in soundtrack be sold exclusively as a NFT, through either the standard edition, currently available for resale at ludicrous prices from those who bought them previously, or the limited edition that also comes with a poster, concept art, 3 music videos of the songs featured in the album and behind the scenes footage, which all 5000 copies of this edition have since been sold. Given current sales numbers, only about 3000 people have purchased the standard edition.
  • The title of the film is a reference to the American "Karen" stereotype and the memes that were spawned because of it.
  • This is one of BET's most well known films to date, likely due to the fact this is based off the meme that goes by the same name.


Loading comments...