NEW YORK (CNS) — The limited series drama "Lisey's Story," adapted by Stephen King from his 2006 novel, comes bolstered by some impressive credentials.

Its stellar cast, for instance, includes Julianne Moore, Clive Owen, Joan Allen, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Ron Cephas Jones ("This Is Us").

Behind the scenes, King's collaborators included the influential J.J. Abrams, whose Bad Robot Productions partnered with Warner Bros. Television to produce the show. Despite all this, however, the program proves so relentlessly grim and soul wearying that only the wildly popular horror writer's most devoted fans will likely be satisfied.

Additionally, the eight-part series — the first two episodes of which begin streaming on Apple TV+ Friday, June 4, with subsequent single installments being released weekly through July 16 — is so graphically violent that even many adult viewers may find it unacceptable.

"Every marriage keeps its own secrets." That observation from fictitious novelist Scott Landon (Owen) frames the action, which — under the direction of Chilean Pablo Larraín — shifts seamlessly between past and present, reality and fantasy.

Still grieving Scott's loss two years after his murder, his widow, Lisey (Moore) — confronted by the voluminous boxes of materials he left behind — is uncertain how best to preserve her husband's literary legacy. Tennessee-based Professor Dashiel (Jones) pressures her to turn Scott's papers and unpublished manuscripts over to his university.

When Lisey resists these entreaties, Dashiel employs Jim Dooley (Dane DeHaan), an unhinged fan of Scott's work, to change her mind. He resorts to brutal methods of coercion.

Jim has plenty of company where being unbalanced is concerned, however. Thus, among his documents, Scott bequeathed a treasure trove of clues to Lisey to help her discover the source of his own mental illness. These lead back to the torturous abuse to which Scott, while young (Sebastian Eugene Hansen), was subjected by his dad, Al (Michael Pitt).

Similar mistreatment left Scott's brother, Paul (Clark Furlong), feral as well as insane.

Lisey's younger sister, Darla (Leigh), meanwhile, tells her that their older sibling, Amanda (Allen), thinks Scott was "her brother from another mother." Her affinity for Scott, it turns out, was based on the fact that Amanda is plagued by the same kind of instability by which the novelist was afflicted.

Occasional rough and crude terms in the dialogue seem trivial in comparison with the gruesome bloodletting the series showcases. Among the weapons deployed to wreak havoc, for example, are a shovel and a pickax.

Aesthetically, "Lisey's Story" does have some things going for it. These include its sharp, rich visual style and the underappreciated Allen's exceptional performance as troubled Amanda.

Yet this is not a tale in which King displays his celebrated gift for keeping his audience on the edge of their seats as characters narrowly escape sinister forces lurking in the shadows. Here, he's focused instead on the inner darkness produced by derangement.

His exploration of this bleak topic, moreover, eventually becomes both repetitive and grueling. The effect of such material in written form may be less burdensome, but the immersive nature of TV leaves viewers feeling imprisoned in a world of ugly delusions. They would do well to avoid getting trapped there in the first place.