Roberto Succo Review

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Charismatic, but mad as a crate of ferrets, Roberto adopts a series of alter egos and goes on a killing spree in Europe. But the Italian becomes increasingly deranged as the net closes in around him.


Roberto Succo sets its scene with a disturbingly realistic depiction of the aftermath of a frenzied murder. From that point on, however, director Cédric Kahn is the model of restraint, opting for a near-clinical telling of one of Europe’s oddest real-life serial killer stories.

Stefano Cassetti is sensational in the titular role, a mesmerising mix of sociopath, fantasist and self-mythologist who is still able to command a degree of sympathy despite the sheer hideousness of his actions. Equally believable is 19 year-old Isild Le Besco as Succo’s conveniently delusional and naïve teenage girlfriend.

Kahn’s dispassionate approach to his subject makes the film all the more harrowing and renders even the most picturesque landscapes bleak and hostile. Audiences will notice echoes of Man Bites Dog and Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer ringing out, but ultimately Roberto Succo vividly displays its own unique personality.

Understated and restrained, but scary as hell. As Succo, newcomer Cassetti displays an intensity that could melt glass, while Le Besco’s Léa wonderfully balances self-delusion and reality check.