Zlín 2024 Review: ADDICTS (ADIKTS), Dark Humor Meets Drug-Fueled Chaos in Miniseries

Czech director Adam Sedlák explores the extremes of addiction and obsession with a raw, visceral approach, balancing dark humor and surreal imagery to deliver a preventative message to a TikTok-driven Gen Z audience.

Contributor; Slovakia (@martykudlac)
Zlín 2024 Review: ADDICTS (ADIKTS), Dark Humor Meets Drug-Fueled Chaos in Miniseries

Boundaries of addiction and obsession are pushed to the extremes in the hyper-stylized miniseries Addicts (orig. Adikts) from young Czech director Adam Sedlák.

Sedlák directed the miniseries for the Czech public broadcaster, focusing on the dark allure and devastating consequences of substance abuse. Adikts is part of a preventative campaign; however, despite its PSA nature, the director employs a raw, visceral approach that mirrors the chaotic world it seeks to portray.

Sedlák rose to attention with the innovative desktop miniseries Semester and the lo-fi chamber social horror Domestique. His latest film, Banger., shot on an iPhone, is a night ride through the drug-laden underbelly of urban life. The same kind of kinetic energy from Banger. flows into Adikts, which follows a group of addictology students.

Driven by a combination of curiosity, insecurities, and personal demons, the students steal experimental drugs from their university lab. These substances provide heightened sensory experiences and superhuman abilities, turning each student into the personification of the drug they took.


The plot is structured around the psychological and emotional motivations that drive each character to seek shortcuts through substance abuse. From the thrill-seeking Max, whose cavalier attitude masks deep-seated insecurities, to the more introspective Mell, whose quest for self-acceptance leads her down a dangerous path, Sedlák paints a multifaceted portrait of dependency. The narrative is punctuated by moments of dark humor and surreal imagery, reflecting the distorted perceptions of the drug-addled protagonists.

Max (Petr Uhlík) leads the gang as a foul-mouthed dealer who seems to have ended up among the addictology students by mistake. A slacker, drug taster, and provocateur, he hooks up others with experimental substances that turn their weaknesses into strengths. Max gets a permanent erection, for which he soon finds a career path.

Ema (Kristýna Jedličková), accused by her peers of being cold and unfriendly, goes into an overdrive of love-for-all after taking MDMA, becoming too “friendly” with anybody. Self-conscious, stuttering Robin (Tadeáš Moravec) gains charm and charisma from coke, while submissive Mell (Luciana Tomášová) finds she can stand up to anything and anybody.

The "grey mouse" Soňa (Martina Jindrová) gets her groove with methamphetamine, but also hard-to-hide tics. The downside soon becomes apparent: the effects not only fade away, but the users will die in seven days.


Stylistically, Adikts feels like a spiritual sequel to Banger., with a vibrant, almost hallucinogenic color palette that mirrors the altered states of its characters, pulsating electronic beats, and haunting melodies. The music video approach translates into the cinematography and editing with fast-paced unfolding, odd angles, and stylized aesthetics reminiscent of Gaspar Noé.

While carrying a PSA for youth, Sedlák does not get inhibited by the inherently pedagogic nature of the miniseries and goes wild with not only drugs, but sex and one-liners. The miniseries has a surprising number of explicit shots, outnumbering the female nudity, and the debauchery goes so far that it received a moniker as a “porn parody of the British series Misfits.”

The series targets the younger generation, molding its appeal to TikTok-driven Gen Z. However, the writer-director introduces the bivalent world of adults through their two teachers: Dagmar Jensenová (Lenka Dusilová), whose approach is “guidance” for drug addicts, and her polar opposite, Jelínek (Jan Hájek), who teaches the future addictology students by the motto “dead junkie-good junkie” and who abuses his teaching position to leer over young students and touch them. The adults represent different kinds of authority that can interfere in the lives of young super-addicts, but the series is mostly devoid of other interference from the adult world.

Adikts is a fast-paced, crazy miniseries with a preventive message wrapped in hallucinogenic hyperbole. It is attuned to the structuralist and formalistic sensibilities of the youngest generation, derived from TikTok aesthetics and fragmentary storytelling. Despite being a PSA, what stands out most is the dark, almost cynical humor and the lack of moralizing, despite the underlying message that every shortcut is a dead end.

The miniseries recently screened as part of the 2024 Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth.


  • Petr Uhlík
  • Luciana Tomásová
  • Kristýna Jedlicková
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Adam SedlákZlín Film FestPetr UhlíkLuciana TomásováKristýna JedlickováComedyDrama

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