1. 'The Thing' (1982)
It seems weird to award this the #1 slot, considering how many Carpenter cornerstones its actually missing -- the score was composed by legendary Ennio Morricone and not Carpenter himself, it's a remake, and it was, upon initial commercial release, a bona fide bomb. But there are just as many hallmarks nestled inside "The Thing" -- the lead performance by Kurt Russell, a cynical worldview (Carpenter counts this as part of his unofficial "apocalypse trilogy"), and sequences so scary you'll stay up for a week.
Also, it's impeccably done, perhaps the finest bit of out-and-out cinematic craftsmanship in Carpenter's entire career, and the characterizations, defined as much by physicality as dialogue, are jaw dropping. Like "Halloween" it was hugely influential -- everything from the Season 1 "X-Files" episode "Ice" to Quentin Tarantino's "The Hateful Eight" (which used large, unused chunks of Morricone's score) -- have taken their cues from Carpenter's wintery masterpiece.