#Showbiz: TikTok users react to 'Saltburn'

IT'S a phenomenon that seems to be everywhere you look.

'Saltburn' has made its mark as one of the most-talked about films of the start of the year.

Since its release on Dec 22 last year on Prime Video, Emerald Fennell's black comedy psychological thriller has caused something of a stir on social networks, particularly on TikTok, where viewers have been sharing how they feel after watching the feature.

Starring Irish actor Barry Keoghan and Australian actor Jacob Elordi, known for his roles in the romantic saga 'The Kissing Booth' and the award-winning HBO show 'Euphoria', the film includes some scenes that have shocked viewers, giving rise to an online trend that sees social media users filming themselves watching the film, in order to capture their reactions during the most disturbing scenes and create a post.

The hashtag #saltburn now boasts over three billion views on the social network.

'Saltburn' tells the story of Oliver (Barry Keoghan), a young scholarship student at Oxford, who befriends Felix (Jacob Elordi), the school's Don Juan and a member of a wealthy family.

An ambiguous friendship quickly develops between the two young men and Oliver gets invited to spend the summer at Felix's home, Saltburn. However, a series of tragic events soon occur.

A few scenes have particularly caught the public's attention, spawning new trends on TikTok. One of these gives Sophie Ellis-Bextor's song 'Murder on the Dancefloor' a new lease on life.

It's a scene that has been recreated many times on TikTok with even the singer herself playing along, reproducing the famous dance.

The track from this now legendary scene has also benefited from this sudden popularity over on Spotify with 'Murder On The Dancefloor' experiencing a massive rise in listens on Spotify more than 20 years after its release, thanks to its presence in 'Saltburn', the streaming platform noted.

This new wave of success hit a peak on New Year's Eve with the song setting a new record on Spotify.

It was listened to 1.5 million times worldwide, marking an impressive 340 per cent increase on the previous year.

This popularity enabled it to make a remarkable entry into the Spotify chart, ranking 130th, the platform pointed out.

In Nigeria and Brazil, listens jumped by 220 per cent and 290 per cent, respectively.

In the US, the film's theatrical release on Nov 22 caused a veritable tidal wave on the streaming platform, with a 360 per cent increase in the number of listens to the song.

Similarly, the album 'Read My Lips', which contains this hit, enjoyed a notable resurgence, with a 340 per cent increase in listens in the US in the week following the film's release.

The official 'Saltburn' playlist has also seen steady audience growth, with a 250 per cent increase just after it became available for streaming.

It's not unusual for a TV show or film to boost the number of listens of a track. In July 2022, the release of the fourth season of 'Stranger Things' brought back 1980s hits 'Running Up That Hill' by Kate Bush and 'Master of Puppets' by Metallica into the spotlight.

Creators have also come up with some unusual products themed around the film; a scene in which Oliver drinks Felix's bath water inspired the creation of a scented candle marketed on Etsy, named "Jacob Elordi's Bath Water".

This product, which retails for US$26, testifies to the extent of the film's influence as well as the fan frenzy that seems to have been reignited since the actor was seen in 'Euphoria'.

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