5 Failed Stephen King Adaptations That Are Nightmarish For All The Wrong Reasons

5 Failed Stephen King Adaptations That Are Nightmarish For All The Wrong Reasons
Image credit: Warner Bros.

While King is an absolute horror icon, the adaptations of his works have been incredibly hit and miss, with some even ruined by the author himself.

Stephen King remains one of the most prolific horror authors, continuing his craft to this day after nearly half a century of writing.

Many of his works have also been adapted into film and television formats, but with rather mixed results, as adaptations of his books have been both masterpieces and utter garbage.

So let's take a look at five of the most embarrassing Stephen King adaptations that were nightmarish for all the wrong reasons.

The Mist (2017)

King's novella of the same name, about the unnatural mist that brought interdimensional creatures to a small town, was already adapted to the big screen in 2007, and it was so good that even the author prefers its ending to the original.

The 2017 TV adaptation was an entirely different case, as it was simply awful, deviating from the source material, featuring a bland story and characters, and worst of all, completely devoid of the terrifying monsters that fans loved so much.

The Langoliers (1995)

With a big screen adaptation apparently on the way, hopes are it won't be as awful as this 1995 miniseries.

Based on the novella of the same name, it followed a plane whose passengers and crew mostly disappeared during the flight.

But with cringe-inducing performances, unbelievably bad CGI, and no real scares, this adaptation was doomed before it even took off.

Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Based on the short story "Trucks," this movie about all kinds of mechanisms becoming sentient and murderous after a comet passes by was written and directed by King himself.

Maximum Overdrive was just ridiculously bad, more like an unintentional comedy than a horror movie, proving that having the author of the original involved isn't always a good thing.

Sleepwalkers (1992)

Speaking of ridiculously bad, this movie isn't exactly an adaptation of King's work, as he wrote the screenplay directly for the film, but it's so bizarre that it would have been a crime not to mention it.

The titular Sleepwalkers are a species of shapeshifting, human-sized, bipedal werecats that feed on the life energy of virgin women (yes, you read that correctly), and with some downright disturbing incestuous themes present in the story, the movie is absolutely wild, but not in a good way.

It Chapter Two (2019)

After the smashing success of its 2017 predecessor, fans expected the second chapter to be just as brilliant.

Unfortunately, they were sorely disappointed, as It Chapter Two wasn't nearly as scary, and the questionable use of CGI only detracted from the movie's quality, leading to an underwhelming result.