Writer-director Emerald Fennell’s latest is an extremely graphic, lasciviously obscene, and squirm-inducing class commentary that may either have you running out of the room or (less likely) praising Fennell for the unadulterated, brazen way she tackles her chosen subjects. As with 2020’s phenomenal ‘Promising Young Woman’, she is in her element when she slices and dices her target—the difference with ‘Saltburn’ is there’s no subtlety whatsoever. The entire film seems like an excuse for her to put things on film that have never been put there before (with very good reason)… which severely distracts from the point she’s trying to make. Playing a fish-out-of-water among the wealthy elite, Barry Keoghan turns in a top performance of the year (with support from Rosamund Pike and Jacob Elordi in particular), but that can’t come close to erasing the fact that the film as a whole is a sledgehammer of cringe, and not even remotely okay for the faint of heart. Be warned.

2/5 stars