saltburn deaths explained oliver felix venetia sir james cotton

Saltburn Deaths Explained: How Did Everyone Die?

Saltburn ended on a dark note with multiple character deaths. Dive into our breakdown of every death and learn whether Oliver was involved in all of them or not.

Why did Oliver kill Felix?

Despite being in love with Felix, Oliver killed him because he didn’t love him back in the same way. Furthermore, Oliver also hated Felix for his privileged life and wanted to keep all the lies hidden.

Through the course of the film, Felix finds out that Oliver had lied about his family and everything else to get closer to him. So to hide his secrets and put his real plan in motion, Oliver spiked Felix’s drink and killed him, even though he loved him.

The film revealed that after initially wanting Felix’s attention, Oliver became obsessed with the Saltburn lifestyle. So, his plan to take over the Catton Family assets started by killing Felix.

Did Venetia kill herself?

While Venetia did kill herself, it was orchestrated by Oliver.

Knowing Venetia’s struggles with her mental health, Oliver pushes her to the point that she kills herself out of guilt. She was aware that Oliver had a hand in taking Felix’s life but couldn’t do anything about it.

Considering she was traumatized and drunk, Oliver left a couple of razor blades on the edge of her bathtub. The next morning, Venetia was found dead having died by suicide. Even though it seems self-inflicted, Oliver was directly responsible for it.

How did Sir James Catton die?

The reason behind Sir James Catton’s death was left vague for the viewers to perceive as they see fit.

Over a decade after Oliver was sent away by Sir James Catton, he read about the latter’s death in the newspaper. Since Sir James was old by this time, he could have died of natural causes, which turned out to be a happy coincidence for Oliver to restart his plan.

But because Oliver was responsible for the deaths of other Catton family members, he could have played the long game and planned for Sir James’ death off-screen. That way, he orchestrated his meeting with Elspeth to find his way back into Saltburn.

How did Elspeth Catton die?

Elspeth Catton got terminally ill, but Oliver pulled out her breathing tube, which led to her death.

After making his way back into Saltburn, Oliver took good care of Elspeth and seemingly got the Catton family assets transferred to his name. While it wasn’t revealed how Elspeth got ill, it’s possible that Oliver could have slowly poisoned her to cause the medical condition from which she was suffering. Then, he put her out of her misery by pulling out her breathing tube.

Why did Oliver kill everyone?

Oliver envied the lives that the Catton family lived but also hated them at the same time. So, he killed everyone to take over the Saltburn estate and the Catton family assets.

Towards the end, Oliver admitted that even though he loved Felix, he also hated him and all the other Catton family members because of the privileges they enjoyed. He was obsessed with their lifestyle and wanted all that for himself. So, he killed everyone and made their deaths look like accidents.

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