On Jan. 4, HBO premiered its latest international production revolving around Judas’ betrayal of Jesus and the payment involved in the double-cross of the Messiah. The Spanish-language series is a grim horror drama void of any biblical narrative.
Director Álex de la Iglesia’s, who’s known for horror films such as The Day of the Beast and The Last Circus, helms the eight-episode series 30 Coins. The supernatural saga features a violent cult and sinister creatures searching for the coins Judas Iscariot was paid for betraying Jesus.
The bizarre and dark thriller follows “Father Vergara, an exorcist, boxer, and ex-convict who is exiled by the church to be the priest of a remote town in Spain,” the HBO synopsis reads.
“As his past and old enemies come back to haunt him, strange things begin to happen. An unlikely task force forms as Mayor Paco and local vet Elena seek the truth, while reality is distorted by a cursed coin which is at the heart of a global conspiracy,” the description continued.
Rather than dive into the historical importance of Judas’ betrayal, the series highlights the practices of the occult, such as communicating with spirits via Ouija board.
As reported by the Daily Beast, the horror production features “possession and exorcism, witches and resurrections, suicide and murder, red-clad cardinals and the pope himself.”
The outlet’s review also revealed that 30 Coins “revolves around a secret Catholic cult of Cainites — led by a fiend from Vergara’s past — who covet Judas’ 30 coins because they believe any items that caused Christ pain contain immense spiritual power.”
Iglesia is more interested in delivering frightening scenes and eerie set pieces than engaging viewers’ intellect. Judas’ payment for betraying the Savior serves as a launching pad rather than the central theme of the horror production.
While the series is inspired by Matthew 26:15, where Judas meets with the chief priests and agrees to hand over Jesus to the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane for a payment of 30 silver coins, it’s hardly a Christian show.
Although Christians are not forbidden from watching programs depicting evil, the occult, and religious conspiracies, caution is to be taken. Any form of entertainment that takes liberties with biblical themes must not dilute the truth of Scripture.
It’s important to understand that while 30 Coins isn’t advertising itself as a Christian series, Satan will use anything to confuse God’s people into believing entertainment is the final authority on matters of faith. Use discernment and consider whether such programs increase your love for God and others.