Carrie's dress is slinky and pink, all the better to be stained by blood. It's delicate looking with thin straps and a low-cut neckline that shows off her "dirty pillows." In the book, King describes her dress in detail, and it is more a sign of foreboding than a perfect canvas for pig's blood. Made by Carrie out of crushed red velvet, her prom dress has a princess waistline, Juliette sleeves, and a simple skirt. Still, Peirce's movie does have a nod to this dress in Sue's unworn prom gown, which is a bright blood red.

Carrie's powers begin as a teen. In the film, Carrie's telekinetic prowess is first shown in the shower scene, where her panic shatters a light bulb and causes tampons and sanitary napkins to lurch away from her. However, King offered a major incident in his story that clearly displayed Carrie's abilities surfaced when she was just a little girl. Following an argument over a neighbor in a skimpy bathing suit, Margaret tries to kill Carrie. The neighbors hear cries, and then a storm of rocks comes raining down on the White home, and only on the White home. In Peirce's version, this rock rain falls after the prom, once Carrie has killed her mother, and seeks her own death.

Carrie lacks the ability to communicate telepathically, but now she can fly. On prom night, Carrie kills many of her classmates by willing their bodies into walls, and sparking electrocutions and fires with her brain. At one point, she can even propel her own body to fly across the gym to duck out as the whole building collapses in flames around her. But Peirce opted out of Carrie's ability to telepathically share her feelings and thoughts with those around her, which was among the book's eerier elements.

In King's story, Carrie's ability to get into people's heads is shown in a few different ways. First, when Tommy asks her out, he's overcome by a weird sensation, which appears to be him feeling Carrie's excitement and anxiety. Later, a local drunk says that when he stumbled out to see his town on fire, he knew it was Carrie White who did it, and explains to his interrogators she said this to his mind. Sue also has a telepathic connection with Carrie. It's this that spurs her to leave her home and race to the school on prom night. In the movie, this thread is ditched completely and Sue comes because Chris sends her the ominous text message: "Your girl looks good but she won't for long."

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