30 Coins (30 Monedas): Devilishly Frightening – HBO Max Review

A horror show from Spain about a town with a monster problem.


Elena (Megan Montaner) is the veterinarian of Pedraza, a town in Spain. After delivering a human baby from a cow, she goes to Paco (Miguel Ángel Silvestre), the town’s mayor, and then to Father Vergara (Eduard Fernández), the local priest. It turns out that Vergara is both a former exorcist and a former convict, who always seems to know more than he’s letting on. The baby quickly turns into a monster which threatens the town. This is revealed to be the start of a number of supernatural occurrences which pop up around the area, and the three need to find a way to deal with them and find out what’s driving them. It just might be related to a coin in the possession of Father Vergara, as well as 29 other silver coins that were once given to a man for a wicked purpose.

Judas. The coins belonged to Judas. Iscariot, not the other one.


If you are afraid of spiders, and I am, then you are going to hate the first episode of this show. It’s called “Cobwebs,” which probably hints that to you, but I didn’t quite understand exactly how John Carpenter meets H.P. Lovecraft this show was willing to go. And it’s damned awesome for that. 

Horrifying, and this isn’t even the close-up.

This show is an unabashed cavalcade of messed-up imagery and disturbing plots. Sources of horror will range from the insane, like a giant spider monster, to the more grounded, like a very dedicated spree shooter. The show doesn’t necessarily say that the only source of horror is demonic in nature, often trying to explore the more mundane evils that permeate the world, but it also tries to combine both the natural and supernatural when exploring the darkest corners of the human soul. The setting, which is a relatively small town, helps with the premise, because it provides a number of seemingly wholesome people who can be corrupted and explored. The entire show tries to explore human nature and does so in a solid way, albeit one that depends a lot on your particular beliefs. Ultimately, the question of the show seems to be whether good is real without evil, and that kind of ignores many schools of thought that try to bypass those concepts. Still, it has more of a point than many horror shows, and I appreciate that.

And it knows CGI just looks otherworldly at times.

Vergara is, naturally, the most interesting character, because he’s the bad-ass priest turned up to eleven. Rather than just being a former religious man who has lost his faith, he still very much has some form of it, he just also has a closet full of guns. Oh, and he’s a boxer, so you’ll be happier if he uses the guns, because it’ll be over faster. The show itself constantly proves that it’s willing to go several steps further than most others in terms of exploiting tropes. Yes, there may be a lot of old ideas here, but they’ll be taken to whole new levels.

And he’s disturbingly jacked for a man of the cloth.

Overall, solid show if you’re a fan of horror. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All TimeCollection of TV EpisodesCollection of Movie Reviews, or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews.

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