There's one good thing about horror movies on broadcast television - they're on broadcast television.
And because they are, they have to leave some things to the imagination. The networks still aren't going to show you bloody slasher movies along the lines of "Friday the 13th" or "Nightmare on Elm Street."So, when Stephen King's "It" comes to the screen in a two-part made-for-TV movie (Sunday and Tuesday at 8 p.m., Ch. 4), it doesn't degenerate into a blood-and-guts slasher fest.
Which is one of the better features of "It."
There are some exceptionally bloody scenes, but the blood isn't attached to dead bodies. It bubbles up out of sinks or oozes out of books.
There are some horrible murders, but - fortunately - they're not acted out on the screen. And, while those of you who have read the book might be disappointed, the rest of you can be glad all of the sex and much of the violence didn't make it into the teleplay.
Mainly through flashbacks, Sunday's Part 1 tells the tale of seven children battling It back in 1960 in the small town of Derry, Maine.
An amorphous monster that can appear in the form of a child's worst nightmare, It usually appears as the clown Pennywise (Tim Curry) and It has killed a number of youngsters.
The seven heroes defeat but don't kill the monster, and as the miniseries begins it's 30 years later and It is back. The now-grown "Lucky Seven" return to Derry to do battle once again.
The cast is full of familiar faces - Harry Anderson ("Night Court"), Dennis Christopher ("Breaking Away"), Richard Masur ("One Day at a Time), Annette O'Toole ("The Kennedys of Massachusetts"), Tim Reid ("Frank's Place"), John Ritter ("Three's Company"), Richard Thomas ("The Waltons") and Olivia Hussey ("Romeo and Juliet").
Part 1 is, in many ways, better than Part 2. The kids are certainly more appealing than the adults, and it's easier to believe the terror they experience.
And like so many horror films, the monster is more terrifying before you actually get a look at it.
"Wait 'til you see It," John Ritter said. "Have we got a monster for you!"
Well, It's fine as far as TV monsters go. But It's rather a letdown when It appears at the climax of Part 2.
However, letdown or not, this is definitely not a show for the kiddies. Children are horribly murdered in "It." And young kids who see even a small portion of the miniseries will never want to go near a clown again.