See your last breath.
After two years stationed at Antarctica’s South Pole research base, lone U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale) is as anxious as anyone to be going home. She’s turned in her resignation and is counting the hours and minutes to the last plane out. But three days before departure, a body turns up on the ice and Carrie is immediately thrust into Antarctica’s first murder investigation.
As the death toll mounts, the mystery deepens with shifting loyalties, deadly whiteouts, and a relentless killer who will stop at nothing to protect a secret buried for over sixty years. Now with everyone around her packing up and getting out, Carrie must solve the crime before Antarctica is plunged into six months of darkness and she is stranded with the killer on a land where nothing comes in and no one gets out.
About The Production
“Audiences won’t immediately know what circumstances brought U.S. Marshal Carrie Stetko to seek a post in Antarctica, or what she hoped to find there, but they will feel from the film’s opening beats that she is anxious to get out,” says Joel Silver, who produced “Whiteout” under the banner of his Dark Castle Entertainment, and calls it “the coldest thriller ever made.”
Director Dominic Sena, marking his second collaboration with Silver following their 2001 action thriller “Swordfish,” concurs. “Whatever she came looking for at the bottom of the world, she didn’t find it. Meanwhile, the place has gotten to her—the cold, the claustrophobia, the isolation. She’s at the breaking point and counting down to that last flight out before winter closes in with its six months of darkness.”
Stetko’s departure plans are put on hold when a body turns up in the ice field between the U.S. research station, the Amundsen-Scott, and its distant Russian counterpart, Vostok. It’s a popsicle, in the wry jargon of a region where losing a glove can mean losing a hand and a few minutes’ exposure can kill anyone caught outside without protection. Frozen to the ground by blood and ice, his arms and legs strangely contorted, the body is that of an American geologist named Weiss, a member of a small research team studying meteorite fragments. Closer examination reveals numerous broken bones and a fresh gash in his leg that has been crudely stitched up, but the cause of death is a deep chest wound delivered by an instrument very common to this rough terrain: an ice ax.
As much as Weiss’s death is a mystery, its location is even more baffling. Miles from nowhere. No tracks, no maps, no gear. What was he doing way out here? A murder victim is the last thing Stetko expected to find after two years of arduous but uneventful duty, and certainly the last thing she wants to deal with now. Nevertheless, passing him off to the nearest U.S. authorities at McMurdo Station 900 miles away is not an option. Kate Beckinsale, who stars as Marshal Stetko, understands her position. “She realizes that this man needs her to figure out what happened to him. Like it or not, her sense of responsibility and her law enforcement instincts take over and she’s in.”
Unfortunately for a woman whose bags are already packed, this doesn’t look like the kind of case that can be wrapped up easily. Instead, it becomes immediately more complex as Stetko turns her attention to the two remaining members of Weiss’s team, men who could be either prime suspects or the next victims of a killer whose motivation she has yet to discover.
Meanwhile, amplifying the tension is the extreme weather, says Silver. “You feel the raw force of Antarctica impose itself as an ever-present character in the story. Things are more intense when every move you make is potentially fatal. Even investigating a crime scene is a more dangerous proposition here than it would be anywhere else—the transportation, the exposure, the possibility of being stranded. You take a risk every time you step outside.”
Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Gabriel Macht, Tom Skerritt, Columbus Short, Alex O’Loughlin
Directed by: Dominic Sena
Screenplay by: Erich Hoeber
Release Date: September 11, 2009
MPAA Rating: R for violence, grisly images, brief strong language and some nudity.
Box Office: $10,159,013 (US total)
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures