I've been taking pictures of you for a few days now. You wanna know what I do? I get paid to take pictures of rich guys like you who go to seedy, out-of-the-way motels to fuck their secretaries.
Adam tells Lawrence the truth
Adam Stanheight was a fictional character from the Saw franchise. He was prominently featured in Saw as the protagonist along with Lawrence Gordon and was also seen through various flashbacks throughout the franchise. He was portrayed by Saw writer and co-creator Leigh Whannell. Adam became one of the most popular characters of the whole Saw franchise, which Whannell credits to giving his own character the best lines as the scriptwriter.
BackgroundEditAdam Stanheight was a headstrong and brash young man working as a freelance photographer. He was hired by discharged detective David Tapp, and paid $200 a night to follow and photograph Dr. Lawrence Gordon, a doctor who Tapp suspected of being the Jigsaw Killer. Adam managed to follow Lawrence, and took numerous photos, many showing him leaving motels where he had slept with his mistress, a student of his named Carla Song. Adam's occupation ended up getting him targeted by John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer. (Saw)
TestEditAfter coming home and developing his photos of Lawrence, Adam fell asleep in his dark room. He later awoke to find his entire apartment without light. He realized someone else was in his apartment, and used his camera flash to locate them. After searching his closet, he was attacked by Amanda Young, Jigsaw's second apprentice, and after a brief struggle, Amanda drugged Adam, rendering him unconscious.
Amanda brought Adam to a grimy industrial bathroom, where everything else had been prepared by Jigsaw for a complicated test. Chaining him by the ankle to a pipe, Amanda placed Adam on his back in a bathtub filled with water. According to the original script, Amanda tied the cord to the bathtub stopper to Adam's ankle (not instructed by Jigsaw to do so), and tossed the key on his stomach before leaving the room, after turning the lights out.
After waking up in the Bathroom Trap, Adam scrambled from the bathtub, pulling the stopper and sending the key down the drain. Adam then discovered that he and his cellmate, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, were the latest victims in a game created by Jigsaw.Adam and Lawrence, chained to pipes on opposite sides of the bathroom, attempted to find a way out. Between the two of them lay what appeared to be a dead man, face down in a pool of blood, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. After successfully obtaining the tape recorder from his hand, Adam and Lawrence soon learned what they need to do: Lawrence had to kill Adam by 6:00 AM if he wanted to save his wife and daughter, and Adam had to try and escape before Gordon could have the chance. It was also revealed that the man in the middle shot himself after learning he had poison in his blood. Using clues from the tapes, they each found their share of items: Adam found a bag of his photos of Lawrence and two rusted hacksaws in the toilet, while Lawrence found two cigarettes and a one-way cell phone in a chest that was hidden in a hole in the bathroom wall. The saws, as the two come to figure out, were not strong enough to cut through the chains; they were meant to cut through their feet. Lawrence tried to figure out another way out without killing Adam, such as pretending to kill him by staging a fake death with a "poisoned" cigarette (poisoned by the blood of the dead man in the middle). However, Adam was electrocuted through his chain, proving the death to be false. Later, Gordon discovered Adam was hired to take pictures of him for Detective Tapp. Adam also showed him a picture of Zep Hindle looking out the window of Lawrence's house.
Soon enough, 6:00 came, and Lawrence, desperate to escape and save his family, sawed his own shackled foot off before shooting Adam in the shoulder in an attempt to kill him.Soon afterward, Zep entered the bathroom and was about to shoot Lawrence. However, Adam, who had survived the gunshot, knocked him over and both began to wrestle for the gun. Adam managed to get the gun out of Zep's hands and then took the toilet tank's lid and beat Zep to death with it. Lawrence then told Adam that he had to go get help in order to avoid bleeding to death. Adam begged him not to go and leave him behind, but Lawrence left after telling Adam that he would come back for him.
Once Lawrence crawled out of the bathroom, Adam searched Zep's corpse for a key to his chains. However, all he found was a tape player that revealed Zep too was playing one of Jigsaw's games. Realizing that Zep wasn't Jigsaw at all, the man he thought was dead in the middle of the room stood up, peeled away part of a mask, and Adam pieces together that the man is the real Jigsaw, the one who placed them in the trap.He told Adam that the key to his chain was in the bathtub that he had awoken in. The key however, went down the drain. Adam then grabbed Zep's pistol and tried to shoot Jigsaw but was electrocuted by his hidden remote control before he could get a shot off. Jigsaw said, "Game Over," as he turned the lights off, exited the bathroom and slammed the door shut, leaving a screaming Adam to die. (Saw)
Adam's demise is conflicted. There are two possible ways he died:
First alternative: Adam remained chained in the bathroom, and eventually died of starvation.
Second alternative: One - three days after Adam failed his test and was left to die, Amanda, out of an act of guilt, returned to the bathroom and suffocated Adam with a plastic bag to spare him a slower death by starvation. This scene is apparently left out of some versions of Saw III. (Saw III)
Following his death, Adam's corpse was left in the bathroom with Lawrence Gordon's severed foot, and the corpses of Zep Hindle and (later) Xavier Chavez. A matter of months after his death, it had entered an advanced state of decomposition and was already degrading to bone and muscle. (Saw II, III)Within another eighteen months, Adam's corpse had fully, or almost fully, decomposed, leaving little more than his clothes and his skeleton. Dr. Gordon shackled Mark Hoffman to the same pipe as Adam and subsequently left him to rot alone in the dark bathroom with Adam, Zep and Xavier's remains. (Saw 3D)
Other referencesEditPeter Strahm. The document also indicated that Adam's last name was Stanheight, not Faulkner.
Jigsaw is shown sealing Adam in his tomb in a brief flashback, in a montage at the end of Saw VI.
- According to the producers of Saw, Adam's last name is Faulkner, but the FBI document in Saw V gives Adam's last name as Stanheight. It is also said that in the original script for Saw, Adam's last name was Radford.
- In the beginning of Saw, when Adam awoke in the Bathroom Trap, he had been asleep in a bathtub filled with water. It is not specified how long Adam was in the water while asleep, but if it was longer than a few seconds, he would have drowned.
- In Saw and Saw III, Adam was shown to be chained by his left ankle, but in Saw II, his corpse is shown to be chained by his right ankle, and in Saw 3D, his chain appears to be what was used to keep Mark Hoffman from leaving the bathroom.
- In Saw II, Adam's body is shown with his head tilted downward. But in Saw 3D, his skull is upward and tilted.
- When Adam and Zep's corpses appeared in Saw II, III and 3D, Zep's corpse still had his hair, whereas Adam's corpse was completely bald, even though both corpses were at approximately the same level of decomposition.
- In Saw and the flashback in Saw III, Adam's gunshot wound was on his shoulder. But in Saw II and the opening scene of Saw III, it was just above his chest, and in Saw 3D, it appeared to be on his stomach.
- Numerous errors throughout the franchise have led some fans to believe that Adam is alive, and the corpse shackled in the bathroom is not him. However, it was confirmed on the official Saw site that Adam is dead.
- It is said that in the original script for Saw IV, in which the film took place in the time frame of Saw instead of Saw III, that Peter Strahm would find and enter the Bathroom shortly after Adam was left inside to die, and would attempt to shoot Strahm in fear, prompting Strahm to shoot and kill Adam in self-defense.
- One scene from Saw III shows that one to three days after Adam had failed his test and was left to die, Amanda returned and gave him a mercy killing. However, as many fans have seen different versions of Saw III (some with the scene, some without it), it is currently unknown whether or not the scene is canon.
- Despite what the official Saw site says, the group of fans who believe that Adam is alive believe that he may return for the possible Saw VIII film, possibly as another Jigsaw accomplice.
- Adam has been seen or referenced in every film except Saw IV. His name is seen on a document in Saw V and is seen very briefly in archive footage in Saw VI.