‘You do NOT want to recreate that’: What is the ‘Saltburn’-inspired trend for ‘rich people’ on TikTok?

(Spoiler alert: This story includes spoilers for Saltburn.)

Since Saltburn’s theatrical release in mid-November — and its subsequent release on Amazon Prime Video right before Christmas — the film feels almost inescapable online. Whether it’s because of chatter about the most-talked-about controversial scenes or actor Jacob Elordi’s eyebrow piercing, someone who hasn’t seen the movie yet could easily piece together the plot from social media reactions and discussions (although it’s highly encouraged for people to look into the plot before deciding to sit down and watch it with family).

The plot follows Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan), who starts his freshman year at Oxford and becomes enamored of his very rich and popular classmate Felix Catton (Elordi). The two become friends and Oliver manages to snag an invite to Felix’s enormous family estate, named Saltburn, over the summer. Oliver makes some questionable decisions, to say the least, and over several years manages to weasel his way into actually owning Saltburn himself.

Playing off the final scene in the film, a trend has emerged on TikTok featuring users imitating Oliver dancing through Saltburn. In the posts, however, they’re using their actual homes, some of which could arguably compete with the film’s expansive and lush estate.

The film’s themes grapple with obsession, class divisions, wealth and power. Nothing ends well for Felix or his very rich family, which makes the Saltburn-inspired TikTok trend all the more confusing for some people.

The trend showcases wealthy creators running around their houses, which has raised its own questions about overtly displaying wealth on the platform.

Some critics of the trend have argued that TikTokers participating in it have “missed the point” of the movie.

“Bro did you watch saltburn,” one commenter asked about a video. “You do NOT want to recreate that.”

Others, like Dazed reporter Elliot Hoste, argued that the trend is more self-aware and aligned with the movie than viewers think at first glance.

“To them, the film is not a cautionary tale, but a fictional one, and the trend shows that they are implicitly aware of that,” Hoste writes. “If [director Emerald] Fennell’s film really was such a cautionary tale against the perils of the upper-class-ness — which it obviously is not — people would be hiding in their homes, not showing them off on TikTok.”

The Independent’s film critic Clarisse Loughrey points out that “as a class satire, it reaches no conclusions.” Loughrey describes the plot as more “emotional” than political, referencing how Fennell grew up in a similar upper-class household.

Regardless of how Fennell’s point with the film is interpreted, TikTok users are still posting themselves dancing through their homes — whether they’re estates or not.

The song used in the final scene, which is also played in the TikToks, is Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s 2001 “Murder on the Dancefloor,” which earned its most-ever global Spotify streams in a single day on New Year’s Eve. Ellis-Bexter even participated in the trend too.

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