Adam Stanheight was one of the major protagonists in the first Saw movie and was also seen through various flashbacks throughout the series. He was portrayed by Saw writer and co-creator Leigh Whannell. Adam became one of the most popular characters of the whole series, which Whannell credits to giving his own character the best lines.
BackgroundEditAdam Stanheight was a freelance photographer hired by discharged detective David Tapp and was paid $200 a night to follow and photograph Lawrence Gordon, a doctor who Tapp suspected of being the Jigsaw Killer. Adam managed to follow Lawrence, and took numerous photos, some showing him leaving a motel where he met his mistress Carla Song. Adam's occupation ended up getting him targeted by John Kramer, the Jigsaw Killer.
After returning home to develop his photos of Lawrence, Adam fell asleep in his darkroom. 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 the invader.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. (Saw)
Amanda brought Adam to a grimy industrial bathroom, where everything else had been prepared by Jigsaw for a complicated test. After chaining him by the ankle to a pipe, Amanda placed Adam on his back in a water filled bathtub, and tied the bath plug's cord to Adam's ankle. She then tossed the key on his stomach before turning off the lights and exiting the room. (Saw III)
Seconds later, Adam woke up and scrambled from the bathtub, pulling the plug, and unwittingly sending the key down the drain. Adam then discovered his cellmate, Dr. Lawrence Gordon, was chained to a pipe across the room, and between them lay what appeared to be a dead man, face down in a pool of blood, holding a tape player in one hand and a revolver in the other.Both men found tapes in their pockets, and after obtaining the tape player Adam and Lawrence learned what they needed to do: Lawrence had to kill Adam by 6:00 AM if he wanted to save his wife and daughter, and Adam simply had to try and escape before then. Using clues from the tapes, they each found their share of items: Adam found a bag in the toilet containing his photos of Lawrence and two rusted hacksaws, while Lawrence found two cigarettes and a one-way cell phone in a chest that was hidden behind the bathroom wall. The two soon realized that the saws were not strong enough to cut through their chains; they were meant to cut through their feet. They tried to figure another way out, and Lawrence formulated a plan to stage Adam's death using a "poisoned" cigarette (poisoned by the blood of the dead man in the middle of the room). 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 showed him the photos, and found a picture of a man staring out a window of Lawrence's house, whom Lawrence identified as Zep Hindle. soon enough, 6:00 came, and Lawrence, desperate to escape and save his family, sawed his own foot off before shooting Adam in the shoulder with the corpses revolver.
Soon afterward, Zep entered the bathroom intent on shooting Lawrence, however, Adam, who had survived the gunshot, knocked him to the ground and both began to wrestle for the gun. Adam managed to get the gun out of Zep's hands and then beat him to death with the toilet tank's lid. After Lawrence crawled from the bathroom to get help, Adam searched Zep's body for a key.
He instead found another tape player that revealed Zep too was a victim of Jigsaw's game. After the tape ends, the man he thought was dead in the middle of the room stood up, and peeled away part of a mask. Adam pieced together that this man was the real Jigsaw Killer, and the one who placed them in the trap.He told Adam that the key to his chain was in the bathtub, which was already sucked down the drain. Adam then grabbed Zep's pistol and tried to shoot Jigsaw but was electrocuted by his hidden remote control, causing him to lose reach of the gun. Jigsaw then proceeded to turn off the lights, and yelled "Game Over," before slamming the door shut, leaving Adam to die in the bathroom. (Saw)
DeathEditAn unspecified time after Adam failed his test and was left to die, Amanda returned to the bathroom and suffocated him with a plastic bag out of guilt; sparing him a slower death.(Saw III)
Following his death, Adam's corpse was left to rot in the bathroom, which also housed Lawrence Gordon's severed foot, and the decomposing 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. (Saw II, III)Within the next months, Adam's corpse had almost fully decomposed, leaving nothing more than his skeleton. Dr. Gordon shackled Mark Hoffman to the same pipe as Adam and subsequently left him there to die. (Saw 3D)
Other referencesEditPeter Strahm, which confirmed that Adam's last name was Stanheight.
In a montage at the end of Saw VI, Jigsaw is shown sealing Adam in his tomb.
- 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 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 that Adam would attempt to shoot Strahm in fear, prompting Strahm to shoot and kill Adam in self-defense.
- Adam has been seen or referenced in every film except Saw IV.
- Adam's flannel shirt was in the bathroom from the beginning until the end in the first film but in Saw II and Saw 3D his flannel was nowhere to be seen.
- In a deleted scene of Saw III Adam ran into Amanda on the way from his apartment, asking to take a picture of her. Another scene which has been only in the Director's Cut of the third film showed that Amanda had nightmares of him due to her guilt which was the reason why she returned to the bathroom and killed him out of mercy.
Zep Hindle: Bludgeoned with toilet tank lid.