The first trailer for Saltburn, Emerald Fennell’s follow-up to Promising Young Woman, has landed at last – and given that it looks like a culture-clash thriller which sends one normie into an alien world of massive houses, grounds, and rich people everywhere, ‘landed’ is the operative word here. That normie is Barry Keoghan’s young Oliver, a student at Oxford from a modest background who falls in with a far more upmarket crowd during his studies, including the dishy Felix (Jacob Elordi). At the end of the year, Oliver is reluctant to head back home. “Well, why don’t you come home with me?” Felix offers. “Come to Saltburn.”
Saltburn, it turns out, is a huge Gothic pile somewhere out in the country, where Felix and friends cavort and party after their graduation. It’s absolutely gigantic, with a moat and a maze and everything. “Lots of people get lost in Saltburn,” says a stiff and not at all creepy butler. (Yep: Saltburn has a creepy butler. Levels.) Check out the trailer here:
While Saltburn itself looks, well, pretty swish, there’s a mounting tension to the Saltburn trailer — and things soon take a bit of a turn. “This place, it’s not for you,” one reveller reminds Oliver, before Rosamund Pike turns up to cheerily/frostily tell him she hates ugliness. “Because you’re a terrible person,” Felix reminds her. The parties get wilder, the behaviour gets worse, and things start falling apart. We’re going to say that it’s not going to end well for all involved.
Here’s the official synopsis for the film, described as “a beautifully wicked tale of privilege and desire” by the studio: “Struggling to find his place at Oxford University, student Oliver Quick finds himself drawn into the world of the charming and aristocratic Felix Catton, who invites him to Saltburn, his eccentric family’s sprawling estate, for a summer never to be forgotten.” Further plot details are scant at the minute, but Richard E Grant, Carey Mulligan, Lolly Adefope and Reece Shearsmith are all involved.
While Saltburn isn’t hitting UK and Irish cinemas until 17 November, it will screen here a little earlier — set to open the London Film Festival in September. “I’m honoured that our film is able to open this year’s BFI London Film Festival,” Fennell has said. “It is a festival that inspired me so much growing up, one that I followed excitedly from my bedroom on the other side of London. It feels extra-special that Saltburn, this very British tale of excess, is able to make its international debut at the wonderful BFI.” If Promising Young Woman was anything to go by, we’re in for one hell of a ride.