"The Movie Was So Bad, It Fully Hurt My Soul": 19 Book-To-Movie Adaptations That Were Disappointing Enough That People's Souls Were Affected

    We needed a two-part Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, mostly so there'd be time for a scene where Harry and Ron decide they both need a haircut.

    All the way back in 2022 — ancient history at this point — we shared the book-to-movie adaptations that most disappointed the devoted bibliophiles of Reddit. The BuzzFeed commenters weighed in with their own memories of beloved books and subsequent wasted movie tickets. Here are 19 of their suggestions.

    Submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The books were great! The movie completely sucked. They changed one of the main character’s peculiarities, and it made no sense. They also condensed three books into one, and it was a major letdown."

    two woman stand at each end of four children as they stand outside a cave

    2. "The fact that Cirque Du Freak isn’t on here is astounding. Those books were a part of my middle school childhood and even rereading them as an adult, they hold up. The movie was so bad, it fully hurt my soul."

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    3. "The Hobbit! I simply adore the world pictured in the book, but so many characters were lost in the adaptation, and so many storylines were left forgotten. It was a pretty movie, aesthetically pleasing, but a bit too…much? It seemed more like an action movie, where it should have been a story about a journey, both figurative and literal."

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    4. "How is Ella Enchanted not on here? My favorite book growing up, but the movie barely kept the main storyline and butchered the rest. Just heartbreaking to see something ruined like that."

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    5. "The Girl On the Train. It added nothing setting it in the US. Set in the UK it made sense."

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    6. "The Lovely Bones. I couldn't get over that whispery voice. Nearly unwatchable."

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    7. "Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby seems like it was made specifically to make it easy for high schoolers to interpret Fitzgerald."

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    8. "Beautiful Creatures was the absolute worst and I thoroughly loved the book."

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    9. "The Vampire Academy movie. I loved Zoey Deutch but they butchered the entire plot. Things were rushed, things were left out, and it was an overall lukewarm adaptation."

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    10. "Cujo has to be on this list. It’s one of Stephen King’s best books. A terrifying story of a sweet dog turning rabid could not translate to the screen. They also changed the ending which lessened the impact of the story. Horrible adaptation."

    angry dog

    11. "The Mortal Instruments movie. I thought the casting was pretty good, but it fell apart from there. By the end, they'd given away all the plot twists for the next three books as well. I wasn't a fan of the TV series either, though I know a lot of people enjoyed it. It was too far from the books for my taste."

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    12. "Angels & Demons. The absolute worst movie version of a book I've ever watched."

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    13. "I have a love/hate relationship with the Harry Potter movies, ESPECIALLY The Goblet of Fire. The movies were incredible, yes. But there were a lot of important missing pieces, especially if you hadn’t read the books. I know people that haven’t read the books that didn’t understand a lot in later movies because important information was taken out or completely changed. There were also things that could’ve been put in that were taken out for seemingly no reason. I think it would’ve been better to turn all of the later books into two-parters."

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    14. "The Handmaid’s Tale movie from the 1990s. One of my favorite books and it was like the director hadn’t read it and turned it into this awful romantic drama. The first two seasons of the series captured all the horror and nuanced world-building."

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    15. "City of Ember should be on there. Amazing book, huge let-down of a movie."

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    16. "The movie adaptation of Sphere by Michael Crichton left me incensed. One of the best and most thought-provoking books I’ve ever read completely bastardized and reduced to mindless, poorly conceived drivel that bears little resemblance to the novel."

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    17. "We gotta mention The Spiderwick Chronicles. Five pretty good creepy YA short novels made into one crappy Nickelodeon movie. They tried to do the whole story in one film, but completely ignored Book 3 or 4 (it’s been too long now for me to remember which one)."

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    18. "The Chaos Walking trilogy is one of my favorite book series of all time, but the film was atrocious. I couldn't finish it because they added things that didn't even happen until the third book or end of the second in the first 20 minutes of the movie."

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    19. And finally: "The Relic. Utter failure of movie that barely captures the imagination of the book, or the terror. Plus, they took out Agent Pendergast, who is essential to the success of the ending."

    woman covering her face in horror

    Okay, now it's your turn. Which disappointing book-to-movie (or TV) adaptations did we miss? Tell us about 'em in the comments!