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Despite the title, "Skeletons" is not a horror film, but a comedy "? the wry kind in which the British specialize.

In this case, Davis and Bennett (Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley, respectively) are freelance exorcists "? not of demons, but literally the figurative skeletons in your closet. For example, couples about to be married want the secrets of their past to vanish, so Davis and Bennett use their supernatural wherewithal to enter your closet, investigate and emerge with highly detailed reports on embarrassing incidents in your life, such as how many times you've hired a prostitute.

Their main assignment takes the bickering duo to a village where a woman (Paprika Steen) seeks her missing husband while dealing with a mute daughter. Things go from bad to worse, and the same might be said for the movie, as it switches tonal gears, sashaying from comedy to drama.

The original premise feels like a mannered take on the surreal works of Charlie Kaufman, but with a comedy team plopped in its chewy center. Gaughan and Buckley reminded me of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (Buckley's a dead ringer for Frost), and Steen is a delight, but this indie Brit hit would work better as a 30-minute short "? a format from which feature-debuting writer/director Nick Whitfield hails. Then again, if it were a short, how/where would you ever see it? "?Rod Lott


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