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I'm a glorified janitor. I clean up after sick people.
— David talks about his profession.[src]

David is a fictional character from the Saw franchise. He serves as the primary protagonist of the original short film.

He was portrayed by Leigh Whannell.

Biography

Early Life

David was an orderly who worked at a hospital. However, he was not happy with his work as he only saw himself as a "glorified janitor." Because of this arrogant attitude, he was eventually targeted by a psychopathic killer. (Saw)

Abduction

One day, David was about to leave the hospital after ending his shift. However, while waiting for the elevator, he was suddenly approached from behind by an unknown person who knocked him out with a bludgeon and took him to an abandoned location. There, he strapped David to a chair and put a mechanical contraption on his head. This device was equipped with a timer and had been hooked into David's upper and lower jaw. He also abducted another man and injected him with an opiate overdose, rendering him unable to move or feel anything. When the kidnapper prepared David's game, he made the second victim swallow a key and painted a black question mark on his stomach. After finishing all of his preparations, the killer left the building. (Saw)

Test

David wakes up in the trap.

Shortly afterward, David woke up. Although he was initially confused, he quickly started to panic upon realizing that he was trapped. David desperately tried to free himself from his restraints but stopped when a TV turned on next to him. A mechanical ventriloquist puppet appeared on-screen and introduced him to a perfidious game. The doll described the device on his head as a "reverse bear trap," which would rip his mouth open if he did not manage to free himself within 60 seconds. To do so, he had to cut the key to the device from the stomach of his supposedly dead cellmate.

When the TV turned off, David panicked again. After initially struggling, he ultimately freed his arms from his restraints. However, as he got up from the chair, a metal pin was pulled out of the deadly device, setting off the timer. David eventually spotted the seemingly lifeless body of his cellmate and the black question mark painted on his stomach. After a moment of hesitation, David realized his cellmate was not dead but only paralyzed. Nonetheless, he took a knife lying next to him and repeatedly stabbed the helpless man. After killing him, David searched through his stomach for the key. When he eventually found it, he unlocked the trap and freed himself only moments before its activation. Horrified by these events, David started crying when the mechanical puppet suddenly approached on a red tricycle. It congratulated him for his survival and told him he now knew how to appreciate his life. In a panic, David fled and ultimately found a way out of the building. (Saw)

Interrogation

David is interrogated.

Following his near-death experience, David went to the police station and was interrogated by a homicide detective. The cop asked him what had happened to him and wanted to know if David had any enemies at the hospital who could have done this to him, which David denied. However, instead of trying to calm him down, the detective put David under pressure and even rebuked him when he learned from David's initial report that the man he had to cut open had still been alive at that point. Ultimately, this caused David to burst into tears, suffering a mental breakdown. (Saw)

Personality

Being bored with his job as a hospital orderly, David was a man who considered himself nothing more than a "glorified janitor" who cleaned up after sick people with no one ever appreciating his work. When interacting with others, he displayed a somewhat arrogant and occasionally sarcastic attitude.

Following the survival of his near-death experience, the fact that he had killed a man to save himself took a toll on David’s mental state, leaving him emotionally unstable. When he was interrogated and put under pressure by the detective, David suffered a mental breakdown. He was terrified by the traumatic events and felt guilty for killing his cellmate.

Trivia

  • David's test is almost identical to Amanda Young's game in the first Saw film.
  • Leigh Whannell, the actor playing David, was the screenwriter for the short film and the first three Saw movies.
  • Leigh Whannell also played the role of Adam Stanheight, one of the main protagonists of the first film.

Appearances and References

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