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Sci-Fi Movies That Became Unwatchable With Age

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At the time of its release in 1984, the adaptation of Frank Herbert’s legendary “Dune” saga might have been seen by sci-fi fans as an elevation of the genre on the big screen. A bizarre movie that was hard to look away from, it wasn’t for everybody even then, with audiences split over whether it was a masterpiece or a misguided mess. In time, however, nearly everyone came to respect the film for its sheer ambition and audaciousness.

Directed by David Lynch, it was the filmmaker’s first big-budget Hollywood production following his breakout hit “The Elephant Man.” There’s no denying that the movie is well-made and meticulously produced — but even Lynch himself isn’t a fan. He was a peculiar choice to helm the project to begin with, but the disordered post-production — including chopping out much of what he filmed — ultimately led him to distance himself from it. Reviews for the film at the time weren’t glowing, and “Dune” was an unfortunate box office flop, but it eventually earned a strong fan following, particularly among serious science-fiction diehards.

Not quite unwatchable if you love the source material, Lynch’s “Dune” seriously suffers today thanks to the release of Denis Villeneuve’s 2021 adaptation and its sequel. Especially if you’ve never seen the original, the modern “Dune” makes Lynch’s version a real chore to watch, as Lynch’s complicated production, weird casting choices, and condensed story pale in comparison.