Submitted by Julio M
Oliver (Barry Keoghan) was NOT from a lower-class, troubled, fatherless background as he claimed, and he plotted getting rid of everyone at Saltburn, including Lady Elspeth (Rosamund Pike); in the end, he inherits the estate and the Catton fortune and gets away with everything.
After a summer of debauchery, sex and some strange events -one of them, the surreptitious departure of Farleigh (Archie Madekwe) after a confusing incident-, Felix’s (Jacob Elordi) parents, Lord James (Richard E. Grant) and Lady Elspeth have the idea of setting up a farewell/birthday party for Oliver. The day of the party, to ingratiate himself to Oliver, Felix drives him impromptu to see his mother -according to Oliver earlier, “widowed, estranged and mentally afflicted”-, only to discover his parents were both alive, well and together, and that Oliver’s background was actually just a slight step below Felix’s, in affluence.
Taken aback by Oliver’s lies, Felix orders him to leave Saltburn after the party, despite his pleas. During the event, Farleigh reappears and threatens to tell on Oliver for all his manipulation. At the same time, Oliver tries, one last time, to make a move on Felix and amend their friendship, but Felix crudely turns him away. The next morning, Felix is found dead in the maze of what seems to be a substance overdose, which sends everyone on a tailspin. Oliver takes the opportunity, during a subsequent, highly-charged meeting, to reveal that Farleigh was high on drugs the night before. Enraged, Lord James disowns and banishes Farleigh from Saltburn forever.
After the funeral, Felix’s sister, Venetia (Alison Oliver) -whom Oliver had seduced earlier-, rebuffs Lady Elspeth’s request that Oliver sticks around by drunkenly accusing him of coming to destroy the family. The next morning, she appears dead of what looks like a suicide in her bathtub. It is at this point that Lord James himself, weary of the apparent connection between the deaths and the presence of Oliver, requests Oliver’s departure, to which he retorts he cannot leave Lady Elspeth in such fragile state; however, when Lord James pays him what seems to be “hush money”, he acquiesces and leaves.
A few years pass. Oliver finds out that Lord James died and, later, reacquaints, apparently by chance, with Lady Elspeth; with both seemingly in good terms, she asks him to come back to Saltburn, to which he agrees. However, shortly after, she falls terminally ill.
This is when the big revelation comes. Oliver confesses to Lady Elspeth that, out of spite and intense obsession, he plotted all the horrible events that befell everyone at Saltburn, the same way that he planned his initial connection with Felix AND THE SUPPOSED RECENT “CHANCE REENCOUNTER” WITH LADY ELSPETH -we discover that, after this particular event, he duped her into bequeathing the entire fortune and possession of the estate to him-. He wrote the e-mail that got Farleigh in trouble with the family; poisoned Felix’s drink while in the maze; left razor blades on Venetia’s bathside, as a subtle suicide hint; and got Lady Elspeth sick, as a final revenge act. To crown his work, he finishes her by cutting off her life support.
In the end, having gotten rid of the entire Catton family and as the sole heir and owner of their fortune and the Saltburn estate, Oliver celebrates by dancing around, naked, to the tune of “Murder On The Dancefloor”.