I'm only going to name one. This isn't my favorite movie of all times-it's not even the best scary movie ever made. But this movie is the epitome of what I absolutely love to watch in terms of spookiness, and this story is very well told. Now I'm positive that I will be met with disagreement because this happens to be a remake and the original is iconic--yet this one effects me much deeper than the original. The movie is Halloween. But Rob Zombie's Halloween.
*Dodges the eggs being thrown at me* So let me explain. In the original, it opens with a young Michael Myers killing his entire family. He gets thrown into a mental hospital for the criminally insane and then upon escaping he has developed these super human abilities--like being shot and bludgeoned and burned--with absolutely no explanation as to why he can continue to live! Oh yeah, in subsequent Halloweens they talk about Samhain and provide a vague explanation but lets be honest here, if a kid really is going to kill everyone in his family, shouldn't we get a little bit of the back story? Was he molested? Was he disowned and his inheritance taken? Did his parents catch him in a 'compromising' position?
No back story. Then he just walks very slowly and catches people who are running. Really? How does that work? Has anyone ever seen Michael Myers run? How does he always catch people? Well anyways, its not about believability--it's just that Rob Zombie satisfied my curious nature. Pure and simple.
If you haven't watched the remake, you'll note that Michael starts out as a very normal kid. He's really sweet and cute but he's picked on at school and has a severely dysfunctional family. When the kids in school discover that his mom works in a strip joint it seems to finally push him over the edge and he snaps. There are two opposing sides to this kid and they don't seem to be aware of each other. When his Mom comes to visit him in the mental hospital he begins to ask her if everyone at home is okay--like maybe he has an inkling that they aren't. And when he's told that he's done bad things he cries and denies it. Then he begins to beg to go home.
I think the explanation for how disassociated he becomes is understandable. It's not quite believable how he tracks his sister down--however, it lacks the odd paranormal twists which makes it scary in a more believable way. Scary like...hey that kid next door might be the next Michael Myers. Maybe you don't want to push that shy kid that everyone enjoys picking on...
So that is my vote for my top Halloween story. Tell me yours and why. Oh, and on a quick note...I said I'd only do one but Shaun of the Dead is equally as important to Halloween just for it's sheer tongue-in-cheek at the horror-zombie genre.