"They're he-eere!" Hooper's fifth feature was his biggest to date, produced on a grand scale by co-writer Steven Spielberg the same year he made ET. Its critical and boxoffice success was undercut by persistent rumors that Spielberg had co-opted the film much like Howard Hawks did with Christian Nyby (on The Thing) and shadow-directed, a claim both filmmakers denied. The untimely deaths of several people connected with the production gave rise in some quarters to the claim the franchise was somehow "cursed". Followed by Poltergest II: The Other Side and Poltergeist III, neither of which involved Spielberg or Hooper.