Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is Indy’s descent into hell and Spielberg denotes this in his use of colour.
The film’s most prominent colour is red, which Spielberg uses to represent threat and danger.
1. Spielberg associates red with danger in the very first shot, in which the camera pulls out of a dragon’s mouth. The dragon is, of course, fake, a part of Willie Scott’s Anything Goes musical number, but it anticipates the sequence’s very real threat which sees Indy poisoned and his assistant killed.
2. Costumes also reflect the danger during this sequence. Willie is dressed in a gold and red sequin dress, while Indy’s red carnation stands out against his pristine white tuxedo.
3. Red comes to dominate whole sequences when the action moves to Pankot Palace, the location of the titular temple. An establishing shot sees the setting sun cast a blood red light across the Palace.
4 and 5. During the Banquet sequence, most of the characters are dressed in red, most prominently the entertainment and the young Maharaja.
6. As Indy and Short Round begin to discover the true nature of Pankot Palace, they spark a match and the fire briefly illuminates their faces in a blood red light.
7 and 8. Finally, of course, once Indy, Willie and Short Round find themselves in the Temple itself the film is dominated by fire, red lighting and blood. This is the threat that the dragon’s fake fire anticipated back at the start.
But as I mention here, there is hope through Spielberg’s use of light and natural colours.