The Witching Hour #26 – The Green Mile

Before sitting do to take a look at The Green Mile could reasonably be considered a horror movie and whether it had a place here at The Witching Hour. I actually read these books when they were released in a serialized format back in the 90s and went to the theaters when the movie premiered. I am as familiar with the story as most other fans and I honestly do not consider the story to be that scary despite the fact it comes from the mind of Stephen King – a man who built his name on the foundation of horror. Ultimately I feel that it belongs here because while the story itself may not be horrific, it does contain elements of horror. It also happens to be an example of a Stephen King work adapted to film that remains remarkably faithful to its source.

Most of the story is set in the year 1935 (in the movie, anyways. The novels were set in 1932). Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) is a corrections officer in charge of the death row cell block at a prison. The way to the electric chair in this facility has a green floor and thus has earned a nickname of “The Green Mile”. Edgecomb’s life is forever changed with the arrival of a new inmate named John Coffey – a massive African American man who was found howling while clutching the dead bodies of two young girls who lived in the area.

But Coffey is not your typical inmate. He has a unique power of withdrawing what ails you from your body and taking it into his own. He then vomits the sickness he has taken into himself as a swarm of dark insects. You really have to appreciate the contrast of a man who can heal – and even revive the dead – in a place of death.

This is a very long movie and such an amazingly good tale that I do not want to get too deeply into the story. This movie is really so well done that if you haven’t seen it for yourself yet, you should. There is a bit of everything in The Green Mile. A murder mystery. One man questioning if he has the right to destroy what he believes to be a miracle. And one of the most horrific death scenes ever committed to film.

Seriously. Go see The Green Mile. It is widely available on both physical and digital media so there is no excuse not to watch this masterpiece.

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