On this day in horror history, Gary Sherman’s Poltergeist III was released in 1988.
Only Heather O’Rourke and Zelda Rubinstein reprising their roles from the previous films. Tom Skerritt stars this time along with Nancy Allen and Lara Flynn Boyle.
The film marks O’Rourke’s final feature.
In early 1987, she became ill with giardiasis from well water at her family’s home in Big Bear Lake. On January 31, 1988, she exhibited flu-like symptoms and collapsed in her home.
En route to the hospital she suffered cardiac arrest, but paramedics restarted her heart. She survived emergency surgery but suffered another cardiac arrest while in the recovery room.
Doctors performed CPR for over 30 minutes, but O’Rourke was pronounced dead that afternoon. Her cause of death later being ruled as congenital stenosis of the intestine complicated by septic shock.
The head of gastroenterology at UC stated her death was “distinctly unusual” as she lacked prior symptoms of the bowel defect.
A private funeral was held on February 5, 1988, in LA. She was entombed at Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery.
Psychically attuned youngster Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke) is sent to live in Chicago with her Uncle Bruce (Tom Skerritt) and Aunt Pat (Nancy Allen). But that doesn’t mean that she’s escaped the apparitions that have haunted her in the past. When she starts experiencing terrifying visions, her school psychologist believes that they’re figments of her imagination. But this becomes hard to believe when ghostly foes start inhabiting the mirrors in her relatives’ high-rise apartment.
The film sports a 17% approval rating over on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s the third and final entry in the original Poltergeist film series. The film was a disappointment at the box office, earning $14.1 million against a $9.5 million budget.
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