WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead for Saltburn.
- Saltburn is a dark comedy and psychological thriller that features shocking and twisted scenes that made it one of the most talked about films of last year.
- The film explores the morally corrupt nature of its protagonist, Ollie, as he deceives and manipulates the characters around him, culminating in tragic deaths and disturbing scenes.
- The movie showcases Ollie’s obsession with Felix and his desperate attempts to insert himself into Felix’s wealthy and influential world, ultimately leading to his inheritance of the Saltburn estate.
Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn certainly has some of the most shocking and twisted scenes out of all 2023 movies. The dark comedy and psychological thriller hybrid combines slow-burning tension-building craftsmanship with several unforgettably jarring images that resulted in one of the most talked about films of last year. Oscar nominee Barry Keoghan has been known for playing some twisted characters in his previous works, from his groundbreaking performance in Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of A Sacred Deer to his brief portrayal as the Joker in 2022’s The Batman.
Saltburn begins with the seemingly innocent and transparent connection formed between Keoghan’s Oliver Quick and Jacob Elordi’s (Euphoria, Priscilla) Felix Catton. It appears at first glance that although Ollie and Felix are both students at the prestigious Oxford University, they come from entirely separate worlds in terms of societal status and degrees of wealth. While it’s clear that Ollie is drawn to Felix and the Saltburn estate like a moth to a flame, it does not become apparent until the end of the film’s twisted story just how far Ollie had gone to insert himself within the world of Saltburn.
Saltburn Soundtrack Guide: Every Song & When It Plays
The official soundtrack of Emerald Fennell’s dark comedy film Saltburn features a number of popular indie rock and EDM hits from the mid-2000s.
10 Felix Meeting Ollie’s Parents
Saltburn does an amazing job at sustaining the viewer’s support for Ollie until it becomes clear that he is a morally corrupt person. The audience realizes this just as Felix does when he visits Ollie’s parents for the first time, whom Ollie had lied about despite them seemingly being incredibly kind and typical parents. This scene is the first part of Saltburn that starts to peel back the multiple layers of deceit that Ollie had spun like a web around Felix and the Catton family, which starts to leave a deeply unsettling feeling about the film’s protagonist.
9 Felix’s Death Scene
Another darkly twisted scene in Saltburn features the tragic sudden death of Felix who, despite his occasional arrogance, certainly did not deserve to die. It also acts as one of the most symbolic scenes of the film with the enormous status of the minotaur overlooking the sad scene as Ollie, Felix’s murderer, leans against it in the background. Felix’s father James struggles to grasp the reality of the situation, which is framed through an off-center Dutch angle that is common in many horror films.
8 Ollie & Farleigh’s Bed Scene
Ollie sneaks into Farliegh’s room one night in order to send him a message that he needs to “behave” in another twisted Saltburn scene. This happens just after Farleigh sets Ollie up during karaoke night, having him sing the song “Rent” by Pep Shop Boys in order to humiliate him. With a similarly direct and unhinged approach to winning over Venetia, Ollie uses the shock value of his sexual advances to try and get Farleigh on his side. Eventually, it’s discovered to be part of Ollie’s plan to get revenge on Farleigh and frame him.
7 Venetia’s Death Scene
Following the death of her brother Felix, a very intoxicated Venetia sends a chilling message to Ollie that reveals she has finally seen him for what he really is. This scene is especially chilling during a rewatch of Saltburn, knowing that Ollie is planning on killing her and framing her death as a suicide as the scene plays out. Venetia is later found in a bathtub full of her own blood next to two razor blades, marking another murder that Ollie gets away with in his pursuit of taking control of Saltburn.
Every Death In Saltburn & How It Fits Into The Bigger Plan
Within the darkly comedic narrative of Saltburn, a series of deaths occur, each strategically contributing to a character’s masterful plan.
6 Lunch After Felix’s Death Scene
Immediately following Felix’s death, the Catton family strangely tries to enjoy their regularly scheduled lunch in their massive dining hall despite the enormous elephant in the room. James and Elspeth Catton are particularly focused on ignoring the grave emotional toll that the loss of Felix has on them while Farleigh and Venetia can barely hold it together. The emotionless Ollie creepily encourages Elspeth and James as he once again frames Farleigh in the disturbing scene.
5 Murder On The Dancefloor Scene
The last scene of Saltburn is made of full-blown madness as Ollie finally inherits the Saltburn estate, dancing wildly around the halls completely naked to the song “Murder on the Dancefloor” by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Other than giving the popular disco hit a whole new sinister meaning, the final scene of Saltburn also shows Ollie at his most happy of the entire film, proving that all he ever wanted was to call Saltburn home with or without the Catton family.
4 Elspeth’s Death Scene
One of the most disturbing moments in Saltburn is when the true evil in Ollie is finally realized during Elspeth’s death scene. Having clearly been poisoned or made incredibly ill by Ollie, Elspeth, the last living Catton at Saltburn, is also the last person in Ollie’s way of inheriting the estate. Ollie cruelly pulls the incubator tube out of Elspeth’s mouth and takes pleasure in watching her die, knowing that after all that time and effort, Saltburn will finally be his.
Saltburn Ending Explained: What Really Happened To Felix
The ending of Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn is built on a web of lies spun by Oliver Quick and reveals the twisted layers of his obsession with Felix.
3 Ollie Drinking Felix’s Bathwater
The first of the most shocking and twisted scenes in Saltburn is when Ollie drinks Felix’s bathwater as the bath drains. To make the scene even more disturbing, Ollie had just spied on Felix pleasuring himself in that bathtub moments before, waiting until he left to rush in like a demented scavenger to put his face right up against the drain. As far as the scenes in Saltburn that have people talking the most, this one is undeniably up there as an unforgettably twisted moment that reveals Ollie’s concealed desperation and perversion.
2 Ollie & Venetia’s Vampire Scene
Ollie decided to take a very direct approach in trying to win over Venetia, potentially exploring the likelihood of courting her as his way of gaining permanence as a member of the Catton family at Saltburn. The incredibly explicit and shocking scene has been referred to as the vampire scene in the movie and is unquestionably one of the most outlandish cinematic moments of 2023.
1 Ollie At Felix’s Grave
While any of the top 3 most twisted moments in Saltburn could hold the top rank, Ollie’s scene at Felix’s grave is so bizarre and explicit that it’s truly difficult to explain. Ollie is clearly mourning Felix’s death in an unimaginably strange way, which he is fortunate that somehow nobody at Saltburn happened to see. The range of emotions from the beginning to the end of the scene is perplexing and purely barbaric, making it the most twisted scene in Saltburn altogether.
Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, Saltburn is a 2023 comedy-thriller film. When Oxford student Oliver Quick is invited to his friend Felix’s family’s wealthy estate, Saltburn, for a summer vacation, he is drawn into the world of eccentric characters and increasingly chaotic events as his obsession with Felix comes to a head.
- Release Date
- November 17, 2023
- Emerald Fennell
- 131 Minutes
- Emerald Fennell
- Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer , MRC , LuckyChap Entertainment , Lie Still
- Amazon MGM Studios