murder on the dance floor tiktok

A 20-year-old U.K. hit gets revived, thanks to ‘Saltburn’

It’s really taken off on TikTok.

 

Audra Schroeder

IRL

Posted on Jan 11, 2024   Updated on Jan 21, 2024, 12:05 am CST

That One Sound is a weekly column from internet culture reporter Charlotte Colombo that explores the origin of popular sounds heard on TikTok.

Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn has done OK at the box office, but it’s really taken off on TikTok. (And Letterboxd.)

After it hit Amazon Prime on Dec. 21, Saltburn reactions became their own subgenre, as people filmed friends and family members watching some of the more buzzed-about scenes. And a 20-year-old song from the soundtrack is going viral as well. 

The sound

The popular sound on TikTok includes the line “It’s a murder on the dancefloor/You’d better not kill the groove.”

Some videos under the sound reference a widely cited bathtub scene (or the grave scene), or sum up their conflicted feelings with “Just watched Saltburn” posts. People allegedly showing Saltburn to their horrified family was also popular.

Other videos under the sound are unrelated to Saltburn, and use the upbeat song to illustrate good puns and lionfish PSAs. 

Where’s it from?

In the 2006-set Saltburn, a middle-class man named Oliver (Barry Keoghan) befriends his Oxford classmate Felix (Jacob Elordi), who invites him to stay at his wealthy family’s titular estate for the summer.

The film’s finale features “Murder on the Dancefloor,” a 2001 single from U.K. singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s album Read My Lips. It’s been used in more than 100,000 TikToks. The song was already a hit when it was released 22 years ago; now it’s charted in the U.K. again, and is seeing a resurgence on Spotify.

Another trend that started around the holidays features people dancing through extravagant homes, mirroring the final scene in which Keoghan does the same (though he is naked). Of course, it was pointed out that the people doing this trend are missing the context of what the movie is actually about.

Sound off 

Ellis-Bextor got in on the trend as well, posting her own NYE interpretation of the dance. She also did the “Things I Suffer From” trend that got popular along with “Murder on the Dancefloor,” snarking, “When my social media team tell me to post more on TikTok even though I’m 44.”

The TikTok popularity of Saltburn is also playing out on another front. Videos from the actual estate, called Drayton House, are circulating on the app. The estate is not open to the public, but fans are still asking how they can visit.

Rhian Williams, who posted some of the TikToks, told BBC that a nearby village “was selling tea towels to the soundtrack of ‘Murder on the Dancefloor.’”

Now you can watch our That One Sound from TikTok column on YouTube! Subscribe to our channel and keep an eye out for new episodes every week:

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*First Published: Jan 11, 2024, 6:00 am CST