Hitchcock used flashes of the knife and chocolate syrup for the blood in Psycho illustrating the violence but not making it the center of attention and Laurie Strode's knife wounds looked more like scratches in relation to Drew's vivisection in the first twenty minutes of Scream but modern horror films really pack in the gore factor. Psycho and Halloween's appeal came from the suspense. The viewers of the time were on the edge of their seats anxious for Janet Leigh and later afraid Vera Miles as she looked for her missing sister. In comparison modern horror cuts away the suspense and goes for shock value by even going so far as to make sure that theaters sound systems assault the viewer's ears as the on screen viscera assaults your eyes. When Michael Myers stalked his victims in Halloween the suspense came from the audience being aware of the character's jeopardy but the character oblivious to their own fate. Contemporary horror special effects have evolved with the technology becoming more graphic and more convincing if not realistic. When the character wakes up shackled to a chair in Hostel there is no suspense only anticipation because the viewer knows the torture is about to begin. If a character in a modern horror movie finds themselves in jeopardy, unlike in classic horror, the viewer isn't wondering if they will get away but how disturbing is the scene likely to get before it's over.
Sidney Prescott was a sympathetic portrayal of a young woman in jeopardy and even her friends seemed like people with whom the viewers could relate but by the time the characters in Hostel find themselves in the torturers clutches the viewer has already seen them depicted as totally unsympathetic characters. When Janet Leigh steals the money in Psycho we know she will be punished but we can empathize because she commits a crime in a moment of bad judgment based on wanting to be with the man she loves. Instead of being sympathetic the characters in Hostel and Saw are degenerates who seem to revel in their own nasty stereotypes. They are depicted as arrogant tourists who leave America to travel Europe engaging in drugs and elicit sex generally treating the native people as little more than playthings for their amusement. The representation makes these characters thoroughly hate able of course is meant to dehumanize them for their inevitable torturous demise because modern horror is all about gore and the torture of unsympathetic characters