Written and directed by Sheldon Woodson, ‘Come Outside’ is a feature length science fiction drama that stars Sheldon Woodson, Vanessa Dehesa-Woodson, Vernvan Hinson and others.
Set in a suburban town, the film finds the protagonists Shell and Vane enjoying the quiet life. However, their idyllic life is soon interrupted as the inhabitants of the town start acting strangely after an unusual event changes the vibration of the sun. With those exposed to the sunlight becoming mindless creatures, Shell finds that his wife Vane has also turned into one of these beasts. Moving heaven and earth to bring his wife back, Shell starts upon a monumental journey to cure the love of his life from this unexplained disease.
The chemistry between Shell and Vane is fantastic and it is their bond that is the foundation of the film. Woodson has written a moving story, one that perfectly balances the science fiction elements with the personal quest of the protagonist. Displaying significant acting chops as Shell, Woodson has overseen every creative aspect of the production and this reflects in the final product effortlessly. While most science fiction films rehash and reuse ideas and themes, Woodson chooses to do something different. People transforming due to unnatural behaviour of the sun is an original concept which I think no previous science fiction has managed to explore before. These unchartered waters therefore provide Woodson with significant leeway in how to approach the story and he chooses to do so from the perspective of a resolute husband who has to bring his wife back from the brink.
Where the film suffers most is in its pacing. A bit of some tighter editing in this regard could have helped as some scenes feel slow paced with this issue eating into the narrative momentum. The rest of the film is tense, gripping and full of a battle of wits in a world gone completely crazy in an instant. Despite its shoestring budget, Woodson’s film does not seem to be lacking in any technical aspect with both the visuals and the score working in tandem to elevate the audience’s experience.
Sheldon Woodson’s ‘Come Outside’ is thus a creepy, unnerving post apocalyptic drama that rightly focuses more on characters instead of theatrics to deliver an emotional, moving story. With dense characters, good writing and an unexplained phenomenon making people go crazy, the film not only does justice to its central premise but comes across as an astute, compact filmmaking effort that is a lot better than your average run-of-the-mill indie film.